Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Let it snow....
For a lot of outdoor artists, snow marks the end of their outdoor...or plein air activities. Facing cold temperatures... less dramatic and rapidly changing lighting conditions and limitations for site locations (alongside the roads) discourages any notions to endure these "tribulations" for many.
Winter creates a whole new landscape... reveals many otherwise hidden subjects... and creates highly dramatic shadows and lighting displays. Dead grasses and plants... dull by comparison to fall painters... become colourful centres of interest. Snow is sculpted into marvelous patterns and shapes by the wind and sun... providing exciting opportunities for the avid winter painter.Some of my best... and most sought out work is from this season.The last plus for "ME"... is the absence of other people... and the solitude is mine to enjoy alone!
However... this has never been the case for "Me". I live in Canada... and in the Oro-Medonte Hills ski area by choice. I have chosen to reside and to paint in this exciting hilly and vista-producing landscape... still offering glimpses of its rural and historic past in the many small hamlets and villages like Hillsdale... my own location.
On December 1st, I awoke early as is my usual ritual... to find a thin layer of freshly fallen snow covering my entire environment. The sun was just about ready to lift itself above the treeline... so that the treetops glowed with a magnificent reddish gold hue... while the outstretched branches... laden with snow... shimmered in this momentary lighting effect. Picture perfect... but fleeting for sure!
I ran back into the gallery and grabbed my camera... raced back trembling to the intersection of Highway 93 and Mill Street East... just in time to capture this moment digitally. I returned and immediately made an 8x10 "glossy"... on photo paper to capture as much of the detail and colour as I was able... to guide an indoor painting session after breakfast... and opening the Gallery to the public. My turn to man the "floor and till"!
The resulting panel from about a three hour painting session is included within this post. I think its freshness and direct approach again effectively underscores my belief that exciting and outdoor-looking works can be made... indoors... "IF"... you have "done your homework" in the outdoors many times previously to acquire the visual knowledge and understanding of what you are viewing... and attempting to paint. Gaining that same fresh look and approach as one always finds in the plein air experience is more difficult... but is achievable, if your full range of senses is as excited as they are on location
The painting was painted on a toned burnt sienna acrylic ground panel... my usual preference for winter works. My palette was a "split palette"... a warm and a cool from each of the primaries... plus a couple of my personal oddball choices that I will reveal reasons for on a later post.
Beyond this point in the writing ... "I" will let the painting speak for itself. I am most happy with the outcome... and like all other children... be they young... or old(er) like my "Self"... "We" revel in this magic joyously... tongues extended...and mouths fully open... exhorting the Snow God to.... "Let it SNOWWWW"!!!
Good Painting...to ALL!!!