Autumn Man

Rowing on North Bar Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan, on an Autumn day

oil on linen-covered ACM, 12 x 6 in

I met Peter on a winter day at Empire Beach. Given his work for public media in Traverse City, addressing me, a stranger, felt natural to him.

It was a wondrous encounter. His vivid descriptions of the nature spots he had discovered while traveling across the US brought back similar happy memories for me, momentarily making us forget about the cold wind blowing along the beach.

Our meeting was fleeting, akin to two ships briefly acknowledging each other as they pass by. He went off to a warmer climate after he provided a snapshot on Instagram, upon which this painting is loosely based.

Georgia o’ Keeffe’s Blackbird over Sleeping Bear Dunes

oil on wood, 24 x 18 in

This painting depicts a freely painted motif of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, 460 ft above sea level, looking west over Lake Michigan with a famous blackbird.

This blackbird motif has been in my mind’s eye for a few decades ever since I saw it painted by Georgia o’Keeffe.

Here, turned horizontally, the bird flies  North with the glow of the dunes underneath its wings.

A quote attributed to Picasso jokes: “good artists copy, great artists steal”.

Using oil, Van Gogh painted ‘First Steps’

based on a pastel and charcoal drawing by Millet.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Van Gogh “considered his copies “translations” akin to a musician’s interpretation of a composer’s work. ”