Arriving in Illinois and heading down a country road lined with corn we entered the city of Standard, population 300. Spotting a sign that read “4 Family Garage Sale”, we stopped in to check out it out and bought a few items to support the sale. It’s a tight farming community and these are some of the family members tending their garage sale.
We discovered a little known park in Illinois called the Starved Rock National Park which consists of walking tracks through beautiful virgin forest. We drove down to the lake and I was inspired to set up shop and paint the landscape view before me.
And then it was onto Michigan, the Great Lakes State. Just across the border on the southern shores of Lake Michigan we visited the quaint beach community of New Buffalo. The vastness of the lake amazed me. I could have sworn that we were on the edge of the sea rather than an inland lake. Everything about the scene communicated this “ocean” - white sand, waves, harbor inlet. Bruce, a native of Michigan, took it all in stride. This was normal to him, rather than unique.
In Lansing, the capital city of Michigan, we spent quality time with family and I ventured out to explore the city, its historic buildings in particular. I fell in love with the Turner-Dodge House where the “founding fathers of Michigan” resided while they fought for reforms and a better future for the citizens of the state. The Turner-Dodge House is also a great example of a government supported project to preserve historic landmarks. I decided to show my support by creating a pen and watercolor painting of the house and presenting it to the coordinator of the Turner-Dodge House as a gift to the city of Lansing.