For the last month I have enjoyed a series of small historical encampment vacations that have been relaxing and refreshing. Part of what has made the time so calming for me was that I took my paints and some canvas along.
Since I enjoyed painting en plein aire when I was in Washington Island earlier in the summer, I decided to continue painting these quick oil sketches at the next two places. The first encampment was on the western bank of Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Sunrise was amazing each morning and really fast changing, demanding focused speed to capture the light and clouds.
The next encampment was on the North shore of Lake Superior at the Grand Portage National Park service site. This camp is an annual gathering of historians who put up canvas tents for a quick 5 days of early fur trade rendezvous.
What serious fun. I have tended to paint slowly and meticulously with a great deal of detail for many years and painting in this impressionistic style is so freeing and calming that it is having a good influence on the style of my overall treatment of the subjects. It is loosening me up nicely and helping me pick up speed. That is all good.