Friday, February 02, 2007

Where Is It?

Today I decided to brave the cold and venture out of the car to sketch. I didn't venture far though. Meadowvale's community center has a wonderful park that my wife reminded me of this morning.

I readily found a nice spot to settle down. A bench overlooking this scene had just enough snow melted off of it for me to sit. I started quickly, hoping to get enough details before frostbite set in. It didn't take long. The puddles of water on my palette soon turned to ice and I had to blow on the palette to melt them. A patch of ice on the bench was useful as a cleaning surface for my brush, but I think that just added to the ice in the palette. The brush soon became unruly with ice in the tuft and ice was in patches all over the sketch. I was about to quit when the boys came into the scene. Ah! How could I stop now!! I warmed the brush with my breath, warmed the palette the same way and gave it one more push. With the kids done, I was ready to leave, but the red winter-coat was wet and I was so afraid that if it iced over it would feather out or bleed when it melted again. I sat a bit longer blowing gently on the sketch to help it dry warm. When it did, my fingers and cheeks were numb from the cold. I quickly bundled all my stuff up and headed to the safety and warmth of the car.

Home at last, and warm coffee in hand, I added the knife scraps and cropped the edges for composition and this baby was done. It is not really material for a full scale painting, but I did enjoy the experience. Working plein air even in winter is exhilarating.


  1. I'm sitting here in my warm house and getting cold just thinking about your painting adventure. You are certainly a better sport than I am - I reserve plein air painting for days when I don't have to shiver while I paint. But good for you - you got a good painting out of it.


  2. Thanks Michelle. I'd do it again, but next time I am taking some glycerine with me to mix with the water. It keeps it from freezing and that was the hardest thing to handle.

    One good thing about painting in the cold: No bugs! :-)


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