“Dunes of Summer” 12″ x 9″ oil on panel
It’s been busy in my studio these days sorting through my photographs from my visit to Chicago and Michigan. I came across a few scenes of inspiration and continue to find myself painting from these references.
The oil painting featured here is one that I needed to explore even though my photo wasn’t the clearest to work from. The angles and juxtaposition of the dunes with the surrounding trees and vegetation created compelling visual forms for the 2D space on canvas.
Perhaps one of my most noted experiences on my boat ride through part of Lake Michigan were these amazing sand structures that lined part of the lakes perimeter. Their architectural presence blew my mind. It seemed as though these were creations of nature that I might only expect to find in the desert.
In scanning through the imagery I hoped to find a couple of shots that would translate well to canvas. This particular vista was one that resonated in that way for me. The shapes really fit into an abstract interpretation and conveyed the essence of my experience. The palette of colors bare some resemblance to what I saw but not entirely. There was this interesting combination of earthen hues against the turquoise water which I really liked. At some point I think I’ll have to go back and bring my paints and perhaps actually get close to some of the sand dunes for a different perspective.
One final note – it was crazy to see people running down the dunes. From my vantage point they looked awfully steep. What I wondered about was what it might be like to toboggan down these slopes in winter when they are covered with snow. I’m not sure at this stage of life I’d have the courage to try that but I’m sure I would have in my youth.