A Junction in The Road
I have always enjoyed the humorous quips of Yogi Berra. I am sure you are familiar with some of them. One of these gems of wisdom came when Yogi was giving directions to friends visiting his home. Part of the instruction he gave his visitors was "When you come to the junction in the road, take it." Apparently either way would bring you to the house, but it does leave me with a smile when I think about it.
A few weeks ago I was privileged to be one of 40 plein-air artists that participated in the Door County Festival in Wisconsin. In previous years, I had taken the usual driving route through Detroit to Chicago, and then north to Wisconsin. This time I decided to go through the Sarnia / Port Huron port of entry and west to Flint Michigan. At Flint, I arrived at a junction in the road with large Interstate 75 signs directing drivers south to Chicago, or north through northern Michigan by the Mackinaw Bridge. Either way I will arrive at the same destination with about one hour's difference, as the northern route was slightly longer. It wasn't long before I realized that I had made the better choice at the junction; it was a cooler and much more relaxing drive than going through Chicago, as most of the interstate heading north to the Mackinaw Bridge is bounded by beautiful forest.
A drivers view of the Mackinaw Bridge
(Incidentally, I do not recommend taking pictures while driving...a state trooper eyeballed me taking my first of three photos but did not pull me over.)
As I drove across the top of Lake Michigan, I decided that I should take a break and see if I could find a place to do a small painting. I saw a sign announcing an area on the lake known as Menominee State Park. A short drive into the Park brought me again to a junction in the road.
Do I turn left or do I turn right?
I turned right, and within a few minutes I found a very interesting area with sand dunes and a small creek flowing into the lake. There was a quaint little bridge over the creek, and I thought it would make a great subject for a painting. I started setting up while the partially shaded bridge which would be the focal point of the work, gradually came into full sunlight.
Here are some sequential photos of the oil painting on a 12" x 16" masonite panel.
The finished painting.
I felt that I needed to do at least one painting as a warm-up to the exciting week ahead at Door County. The decision to head north (right) onto I 75 at Flint and also to turn right at the junction in the state park proved to be very rewarding. Had I turned south onto I 75 and driven through Illinois I would still have arrived at Door County even an hour earlier, but I would not have found that small creek with stone bridge in Northern Michigan and enjoyed the experience of painting it.
We all arrive at junctions in our life's journey. Most of the time it doesn't matter which way you go, as long as you make the most of the journey and enjoy every moment.
I hope that you have enjoyed this small part of my journey. Until next time, keep those brushes clean and ready to go!
Quote of the week:
"When you come to the junction in the road, take it."