Category Archives: Project 24

A Fall Guide to Leelanau


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We are really lucky this year. The fall colors are lasting, and as I type, on Oct. 23, color has not quite reached peek in a Leelanau. This is rare, and I think you should take advantage of it and book your trip north. There is still time. Today I heard we are at 70% color; my eye agrees. So good news, people: still lots of fall goodness to be had.  Here’s my must-do fall list for Leelanau.

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I’m always influenced by my latest projects, and having just finished Project 24, a series where I painted on location at all 24 (26, by the time I finished) wineries in the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. And I just launched a project with the Leelanau Conservancy to paint their protected lands. (A side note: On the Conservancy’s website is a book you can not leave home without, “The Trails of M22: 40 of the Most Beautiful Paths along Michigan’s Most Beautiful Highway.” My copy is dog-eared and very loved after its first season.”
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Fall goodness off of M-22

That being said, here’s how I’d spend a perfect day in Leelanau:
I’d get up early and head down Bohemian Road towards Bohemian Beach. About halfway down the road, you will see swamp lands on both sides of the road, where the cold mornings create some amazing fog and mist. Teamed with fall colors, it’s spectacular.
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Moon rise over the swamplands on Bohemian Road

After you snap your photos, head on down to the beach for a stroll in the magical morning light. Take note of the pine trees lining the shore. They are very expressive and always bring a smile to my face.
You’ll be hungry now, and stoping at Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor is how I like to start my days. It’s an experience and by no means a secret. It will be your new favorite dive that’s not really a dive at all.
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Then I’d head down M22 to Clay Cliffs for a hike. The lookout point over Lake Michigan is a breath catcher, and  the view over Lake Leelanau in fall is not to be missed. Enjoy!  I’m excited for you just thinking about it.
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The view of Lake Leelanau from Clay Cliffs

Now that you’re done hiking, you’ve earned a treat: It’s time to hit a few vineyards, many of which serve small plates along with their delicious libations. I’m not biased: They are all wonderful. A few with views that will show off fall colors include L.Mawby and 45 North; both of these vistas are protected by the Leelanau Conservancy. A few others where you can sip and enjoy the  fall color parade are Rove Estate, Black Star Farms and Blustone Vineyards. There are plenty more — just check a few out, and next time you’re up, a few more. They all have maps with all of the wineries listed. They are ALL worth the visit (just not in one day, ha).

Fall goodness at L. Mawby

The sun is setting earlier these days, but it’s no less extraordinary. Head over to Van’s Beach in Leland to watch the sunset and finish off your day with a meal to remember. You know the saying “October skies”? You’ll see why. But bundle up, it gets cold on Lake Michigan this time of year.
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Dinner time? This is foodie country, so you can’t really go wrong. Since you’re in Leland, the Riverside Inn is always exceptional, but there is so much good food in Leelanau — I recommend them all!
Now, have fun editing up those amazing photos, and patting yourself on the back for throwing caution to the wind and spending the day in Pure Leelanau! Cheers!
As always, I love hearing from you. I hope you’ll post your favorite things to do in the fall in the comments. And to see many more photos, art and adventure, follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Project 24 pieces still available!

Project 24 was an effort to capture the landscapes of all of the Leelanau Peninsula wineries in paint, to connect you to the land that your wine comes from. You all made that project a wonderful, huge and humbling success. You inspire and motivate me with your support! Thanks to your purchases, we were able to donate $1,000 to the Leelanau Conservancy to help protect and preserve this awe-inspiring land. Thank you so much — that is truly awesome!
Though the majority of pieces have found great homes — some with people whom I already knew, and others I’m happy to have met for the first time through this endeavor — a few of the paintings are still looking for their forever home. Here’s a glimpse at the pieces that are still available.
To purchase any of these pieces, please email with the title of the painting.

Black Star Farms, 24 x 48, oil, $1,200


Black Star Farms, 30 x 30, oil, $900


Bluestone Vineyards in Springtime, 12 x 24 (diptych), oil, $315


Lake Leelanau Narrows near Boathouse Vineyards, 20 x 20, oil, $440


Boathouse Vineyards in the Fall, 24 x 48, oil, $1,200


Cherry Republic, 18 x 18, oil, $280



Good Harbor Vineyards, 30 x 30, oil, $900


Green Bird Organic Vineyards, 18 x 18, oil, $350


L. Mawby, 36 x 48, oil, $1,900


Longview Winery’s Vineyards, 36 x 48, oil, $1,900


Raftshol Vineyards, 24 x 24, oil, $575


Shady Lane Cellars in Springtime, 30 x 30, oil, $900


Tandem Ciders, 16 x 16, oil, $280