Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Snowy Week

Nashville got a few inches of snow this week. Living in the South, I welcome snow as a rare treat, and I decided to savor it while it lasted by going outside and painting. Here's my painting from this past Monday. I spent about 2 or 3 hours outside, wearing LOTS of layers and constantly drinking instant café Vienna. The scene shows a stand of trees in front of the entry point to the woods behind my house. I love walking in those woods, especially when it snows.

 "Entry to the Snowy Woods" 6x8

 The next day was even colder and windier. I wore more layers, and kept refilling my mug with instant café Vienna or cocoa. My feet gave me the most problems ... tennis shoes and two pairs of socks were not enough to keep them warm. Of course, on that harsh day I had to pick a subject that was tedious to paint. I selected a zig zag tree in the woods behind my house, and took care to include all the zigs and zags. I spent 4 hours outside on this one, not counting breaks. Here's the underpainting:

The finished painting is below. I love using the palette knife to suggest little details, like the fence wires, which would be impossible for me to do with a brush. The mass at the base of the tree is the brush pile where I dump my fall rakings and branch trimmings each year. The pile always seems to stay the same size, probably because the leaves decay about as fast as I pile on new ones. 

"Snowy Woods" 6x8

Snowflakes accumulated on my palette. They kept getting mixed into the paint and not melting, giving the paint a gritty texture. It didn't seem to affect the final painting, though. (click to enlarge)

Here I am with all my layers on ... hopefully I won't catch a cold. I did have a terrible headache all day today, probably from yesterday's exertion.

The little bird in my front yard looks cold, too. 

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