The February Frost

February never seems to disappoint as a month for winter weather.

You never know when the lake will decide to cut you off from the mainland. Well, I suppose you can have a good guess about it if you checked the weather and followed up on ice conditions enough… but for the average person like myself who sticks with a weather app and a peek out the window every morning for what’s going on outside, it’s hard to tell. One day the boats are running all day, the next they’ve cancelled one and the rest are running, the next they’re back to the normal schedule, the next they aren’t running at all… then we get high winds and the ice breaks up enough to run again. That’s the scenario I’m hoping for at the moment, enough winds to blow all the ice out of all the bays and let the Mighty Huron right through. For the time being this though, we’re limited to plane service.

I’m not one to leave the island very often, so when the winter season starts, I’m happily content on staying put for as long as possible. Last year I didn’t leave the island until the end of March. This year, I left the island for a weekend in February to pick up groceries and help organize my mom’s house, then headed back home the following Monday… three days later, the boats stopped running.

Looking Over the Edge
Looking Over the Edge

Even with the more frigid temps, I’m enjoying more time outdoors. The views are especially more beautiful when there’s a light layer of snow on the trees, and I’m reminded of the snowglobe-like quality of the island. It’s as though someone just shook us and after a few minutes of swirling inside the globe, the snow has finally settled.

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Schoolyard Sunset
School yard Sunset

If there’s any time of year I find ideal for self reflection, it’s now. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that I want to accomplish for this year and I’ve realized that most of what I’m doing doesn’t fit what I want. So I’m making a conscious effort to stand up for myself, choose projects I believe in and be unapologetic for my decisions. I’m making small adjustments towards happiness. 

If any of you might recall, over a year and a half ago I had asked for your help with a deeply personal project. I’d like to share some progress with you on how it’s going, and although it is far from finished, I’m still proud of what I’ve done so far. I’ve grown rather fond of painting on wood panels in the process, and now plan to paint on more of the same in the very near future.

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Let me leave you with a few final pictures of the ice buildup near the boardwalk:

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Until next time,

Heather

Mackinac Island Student Art Show

This weekend was the reception for the Mackinac Island K-12 student art show. We had a wonderful turnout and the students and parents alike enjoyed seeing art from across each grade level.

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Many of the students’ parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers were in attendance:

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Some of the students also had the opportunity to be interviewed by the local newspaper, the Mackinac Island Town Crier.

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What I tried to focus on in art class these past few weeks were self portraits, and also a study of the artist, Pablo Picasso. We learned a little bit about the artist himself, then looked a few of his paintings. In the picture below, K-1 students used watercolor to paint a Picasso-style portrait:

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In 2nd-3rd grade, I chose the sun as a creative face to study the Picasso style. Students used oil pastels to create suns with one side of warm colors and the other side of cool colors:

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With 5 high school art students this year, I gave them a bit of free range in terms of choosing their subjects. Their displayed artwork focused on watercolors and acrylic paintings:

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For 4th through 7th grade, I chose to display a variety of the artwork they’ve done throughout the year. They used a variety of different mediums, including oil pastel, colored pencil, and even created their own wax-resist scratchboards:

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Being my first time putting up an art show I was a little bit nervous about the outcome, but everyone in attendance truly enjoyed the show. The students’ artwork will be on display at the Mackinac Island Public Library from now through the Lilac Festival, so if you find yourself on Mackinac Island in the next month, please stop by to see all the incredible artwork!