Revising a Painting

Last night I reworked an older painting of mine using new skills developed over the past year.

Here’s what has been over my fireplace mantel for about a year or perhaps a bit longer:

I’ve always been unhappy with the water and felt the sand and sky were too yellow, though I liked the clouds. Then I got better at water through practice. And the lovely thing about oil paints is that you can paint over what you already have to fix it, unlike watercolor. Here’s the new and improved painting:

I didn’t paint over the whole sky, just near the horizon. The truer color is in the second photo.

What I was really lacking in the water in the first iteration was light, shadow, and definition. Everything was basically one color. Actual water registers as many colors, which change depending on the light, reflections, water clarity, and what’s at the bottom of it.

This painting still isn’t perfect. I have to get better about light sources. But it’s probably as good as I’m going to make it.

For a while now I have had an Etsy store called Erin’s Artful Life, but it’s been quiet of late. I don’t have much extra time to update it. So I am going to be moving my artwork over to my website. Soon you’ll see a new page (creatively named Artwork) where I’ll put pictures of my paintings and whatever else I may decide to create in the future. Some of it will be available for purchase. Some of it won’t.

Hopefully I will get to that in the early part of 2020. All part of simplifying my online presence so it feels less overwhelming. As this year closes out, that’s what’s on my mind.

Vacation Season Is Coming…and Michigan Is Open for Business

Look friends, winter’s over, the trees are leafing out, the flowers are blooming, and Michigan’s cities and coastlines are calling. If you live here, you already know how amazing it is. If you don’t, take a couple minutes and watch this:

And then head on over to my page of Michigan links and start clicking and planning a vacation here.

Michigan is more than Detroit (although, Detroit’s pretty freaking¬†amazing, even for a city in crisis) and it has something for everyone. Here are some of the beautiful places I like to frequent.

Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen, bike, hiking shoes, ATV, fishing pole, camera, nature guides, water skis, appetite, and penchant for fun and relaxation.

Summer in Michigan Means One Thing to Me: Up North

Over the past week my husband, Zach, and I have been engaged in the blessed process of planning summer travel around the state: picking dates, securing care for our pets, coordinating travel with family, reserving a room here…

Bay View Inn

We’re thrilled to be heading back up to Mackinac Island after a few years’ absence and excited to introduce our son to its magical qualities for the first time. Zach and I will spend two nights there alone, writing while overlooking the Straits of Mackinaw and riding bikes around the island. Then my in-laws will come up with our son and we all get to pal around, ride bikes, bring the boy to Fort Mackinac, ride in horse-drawn carriages, and eat ice cream. I can already feel the wind off the water.

Mackinac Island Ride

But before we get to Mackinac Island, we’ll be spending another week at a very special place to our family, Camp Lake Louise

Lake Louise

And in late summer will be the Second Annual Sisters’ Hiking Trip. Last year we hiked Pictured Rocks…

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

You can read about our amazing trip here, here, here, and here. Not totally sure just where we’re going this year. But I’m scheming.

This is the time of year my heart aches for woods and water and sky, when thinking about driving north–far north–elicits a physical reaction of butterflies in my stomach and even tears welling in my eyes. The silence of the night sky filled with stars. The sound of wind through trees. The cold splash of clear water. The clip-clip-clip of horses’ hooves. The heat of the sun upon bare skin. The scratchy sound of sand upon worn pine floors.¬†Just the thought of these stirs deep longing in my soul.

I’m hopelessly in love with Michigan.