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The exploring of this new place! Allen complains that I have dirtied my little Chevy Equinox enough, and it is time for a wash. Must have something to do with the rectangle of dirt left in the driveway after it rained? Couldn't resist a drive down Jordan River Road to enjoy the autumn color along the river valley. The logging they've been doing didn't help the "road" much at all, so I got a little concerned when I confronted a boggy, black, rutted section. I wasn't the only one enjoying the fall color in a commuter car, so there's that. Sometimes, you have to get a little muddy to find the really interesting views.
I found a great spot to settle in and paint, right on a culvert. A lovely, warm autumn afternoon. As the plein air didn't quite get finished, but there was enough color recorded (and photos taken), I began a larger canvas in the studio.
The weekend after, I returned to Jordan River Road with my friend, Susan. We got some amazing photos, and were having a great time until I realized it was small game/bird season. We got out of the car, went to get more photos of the river and a group of hunters were a little too close for comfort. They shot off a few rounds over Sue's head. I KNOW they heard us yakking, the car doors opening and closing on the road, so no idea what they were thinking. For sure they heard EXACTLY how I felt about this, after the second shot. Ugh!
Allen dug through his hunting stuff, and I now have a very large (and very loud) orange hoodie. There are some plein air situations Up North I really didn't anticipate. But I do like how the painting turned out!
I decided to become an Up Norther. My fiancee asked me to join him in Northern Michigan after dating for a few years. I spent months packing and sorting. The house we would soon be sharing is small, and artists tend to save things. During the Covid shut-down, I sorted "junk" and took my time with this little enamelware creamer left over from my mother's childhood tea set. I think my sister has the plates and a few tea cups. My reward was eating the Lindt chocolate truffles before I put my easel away for the day.
Well, I moved to Northern Michigan in August. Who doesn't like Up North? Of course, I'm not merely renting a cottage with the family, or staying long enough to get through a Plein Air event (they can be gruelling). I'm an official full-time resident. This means that while the rest of Michigan is on vacation during the summer months, I'm working. Also, this means when the rest of Michigan goes home - I remain here. Exploring Michigan's beauty is amazing, but it is different exploring when the resort and vacation crowd is gone for the season.
For example? I went on "safari" to the Pigeon River State Forest. As I drove down the road, I happened to startle two juvenile bull elk. They ran alongside the car for a moment, then disappeared into the woods. How do they manage to run without getting their enormous antlers caught in the branches? I set my easel up next to a stream, and enjoyed the elk bugling in the distance. But the clouds were unkind, and they kept interfering with my view of the ripples in the stream. I gave up, then moved to a better location.
I found this abandoned home with fall colors lined up behind it. I told my fiancee I might have found a great deal on a fixer-upper when he called to check on me. He was not impressed at the description.