Labor Day Travels and Photos

I took the week before Labor Day off from my day job just to have time to rest and relax for a minute and work on some art. I don’t know how well I succeeded at that, but Jake and I did manage a visit to our local apple orchard, and then made a trip north to MI to see friends and family for a long weekend. That took a few days to recover from, haha, but we packed in a lot: bonfire and s’mores; Chinese food, drinking, and corn hole; shopping and mini golf (plus this skillet thing my mom makes with potatoes, egg, sausage, and cheese for breakfast after said night of drinking, which was delicious). Also lots of coffee.

Impressively (at least to me) I managed to take pictures of friends and family, instead of just possible reference photos for future paintings. However, it’s the latter that I’ll share here, since they’ll probably be more interesting to you all. I’ve continued finding inspiring subject matter in somewhat unconventional places, and I find them more often now that I’m training myself to look. Here’s a sampling from that week:

I wasn’t expecting to find these at the apple orchard, but there they were, in all their pink glory.

I’m thinking of doing a fall series of paintings this year, and hopefully eventually some winter/holiday themed paintings. I’ve been fortunate the last couple years to have commissions to work on during the holiday season, but it’s prevented me from offering much art in my shop to commemorate the seasons.

An example of one of my pictures from the apple trees. We got to pick our own apples, which I don’t think I’d ever done before.
My dad basically lives in the woods in mid-Michigan (though not quite as far from civilization as this picture makes it seem). We’re pretty sure we heard a coyote during our bonfire that first night; they’re known to be in the area, I’m told. I got some good shots of the trees during sunset.
My dad also has this funky old car in his yard. I have no idea where it came from or how long it’s been there, but it makes me think of Prohibition. Also, the rust patterns are cool, and would be fun to paint. I took dozens of pictures of this thing from pretty much every angle.
By the river in Old Town Saginaw; I’m pretty sure these buildings haven’t changed a bit since I lived there 10 years ago — they haven’t been fixed up, but they haven’t decayed anymore, either. Just the graffiti has changed.
One of the stores we went to (not a florist) sold fresh-cut flowers by the stem. I would probably change the composition of this one if I painted it, but I love these red-tipped yellow roses.

All these photos were taken with my phone (because of course I forgot my camera) and I didn’t edit any of them, so forgive the quality. Some of them will likely see Photoshop before I use them as references for painting.

Did you do anything fun or interesting for the long weekend? This was our first time out of Illinois in 2020, though we’re planning another trip next month for a family member’s baby shower. It’s been tough to stay put for so long, even though I know it’s been for the best.

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