Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Summer in Wisconsin

It's crazy how fast the summer has gone, since Steve and I have been travelling so much. We recently returned from two whole weeks in our home state of Wisconsin, where I didn't do as much painting as I hoped, but had some wonderful visits with family and friends (much needed time away from the easel, actually!). I have come back refreshed; there was, in fact, one whole day on our trip that I got to sit around, lazing in the sun with a good book, doing absolutely nothing productive. For those of you who know me... that is a rare thing, indeed!

Much of our time was spent at Steve's family cabin. We hadn't been there in two years and it was wonderful to breathe the fresh air and relax a little bit. The dog had a great time too, as you can see...


 Throwing the stick in the water - this is the only way Bella will really fetch anything!



Below are some pictures from the few days that I did get to paint.


Above: I hadn't painted in several days and started getting the itch... so I did this simple 5x7 and felt better afterwards. :-) It turned out all right in spite of the cloudy weather.



Below: Here is Tom Sweeney Sr., of Shady Nook Resort (they are lake front neighbors of ours). He and his family have owned and operated the resort for years. I thought he would make a fantastic portrait subject, so he kindly sat for me and shared stories of life in the north woods.



I finished the portrait later in my studio:


My sister Emily and her husband Blake joined us for a couple of days at the cabin. We had a great time fishing together, going out on the boat, and making s'mores over a campfire. Good times indeed!


Watching the sunset while fishing out on the boat. You can't really tell who I'm with in the picture below, but that's my twin sister and I sharing a blanket. We've gotten used to the 100-degree weather in Dallas, so northern Wisconsin felt pretty cold!


Campfire!



The only person I've ever been competitive with in my entire life is my twin sister, Emily. We decided to play with fire, so to speak, and have a contest to see who could draw the best outline of a horse in the air with a burning stick. Each "drawing" had to be done in just a matter of seconds. Steve took pictures of each one with a slow shutter speed, and that's how we got these shots. Above: Emily's first crack it a horse was incredible! I tried and failed several times before finally getting this one (below).


Maybe I'll just stick to portraits...


My last painting of the trip: an attempt at capturing water lilies and woodland reflections, with the old canoe.



This is as far as I got. I plan on refining it in the studio, and possibly adding some blooms to those water lilies. I like the mood though - it captures the essence of calm and relaxation that is here at the cabin.




Below: I started a portrait of my beautiful sister-in-law, Lindsay. A mother of four, she enjoyed the excuse to sit and do nothing for several hours!


Below: painting something else... my niece's nails. :-)



Below: For the first time in three years, my ENTIRE family was together... all 15 of us!


I'll post pictures of more finished paintings as I go. In one week, I'll be heading off to San Diego for American Artist's Weekend with the Masters. Until then, I'm scrambling to get some serious studio time in here at home. Keep watching for new work!
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