Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Indiana Dunes & Our Inland Ocean

Sometimes we in the Midwest forget that we have our own freshwater ocean called The Great Lakes!  Personally, I have been extremely negligent about appreciating and enjoying this amazing body of water, I'm sad to say.  This past weekend, I rediscovered its beauty and the sheer delight of watching all the families playing at its shore.  Sun and Sand!!  Can't beat that combination at Indiana's National Lake-shore, part of the  national park system.  http://www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm and the Indiana Dunes State Park http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm. I went up with a painting buddy, Margaret Hanke, to participate in a paint-out sponsored by the Indiana Plein Air Painters Assoc. http://www.inpainters.org/, basically two days of painting where ever we wanted near the Dunes and Lake Michigan, then getting together at the end to see all the paintings complete and incomplete.   

I finished two paintings at the Dunes and put the final brush strokes on the third today.
"Indiana Dunes Lake Shore", 9" x 12", oil on canvas panel

This is a very happy painter, having found some afternoon shade after painting in full sun in the morning. All plein air painters try to paint within a time window of three hours (one painting in the morning, one in the late afternoon) because the sun changes radically after that amount of time.  Here's the painting I did from this spot:
"Indiana Dunes--Beach Play", oil on canvas panel, 9" x 12"

The quantity of sand on the Dunes is astounding!!  Some of the dunes are more than forty feet high! and we climbed one called Mt. Baldy, but this isn't it.
"Indiana Dunes--Pines",  oil on canvas panel, 8" x 10"

We're planning a fall trip back up there to see how the landscape changes color with the dying foliage and the fall light. It will no doubt be a tad cooler too which will be greatly appreciated.

My next painting excursion will be to the famous and elegant West Baden Springs Hotel in Brown County Indiana on August 19th and 20th.  Click on this link to read about French Lick and its amazing history and restoration!  http://www.frenchlick.com/aboutus/history/wbsh  and the West Baden Springs Hotel with its amazing dome--an architectural feat!  http://www.frenchlick.com/hotels/westbaden   I'm so excited to spend a night in this incredibly beautiful, turn of the 19th century hotel.  At this paint-out, the painters will be able to sell paintings completed there and to also bring other finished and framed paintings.  All paintings will be sold directly by the artist, so I hope you can come and find me.  I'll be painting outside the hotel on the porch or the grounds and will have previously finished paintings with me.  "Saturday, Aug. 20th, there will be a reception in the hotel lobby and library area from 3-5pm with music, food, and wine.  Artists may display paintings on the veranda just outside the library to sell during the reception.  Three works at a time are allowed."  If you know people who might like to attend this wonderful opportunity to see both beautiful paintings and beautiful architecture, please forward this blog to them.  

August is the crescendo of summer!  It's hard to fit it all in!  Thank you for reading about my painting life and viewing my efforts.  I always love to hear from you...

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