Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12

Night time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12
Night Time River Cruise, Saranac River 6x12

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Get Out to Paint Snow

The last Saturday Plein Air Painters outing was in late October. It had been cold all month. I woke to snow, about 27 degrees, the first snow, wet, pretty - it was just covering the ground.

I had to go. Thoughts of a book and the fire did not deter me. Looked for long johns, wind pants-black-to absorb heat IF the sun came out, wind breaker, hat, Sorells, fingerless mittens-they're the best.

I am a pastel painter living in the Adirondacks of Northern New York.

Headed to the studio for my painting stuff.  I plan to stick to small work, a sketchbook and oh yeah the umbrella.

Headed out to the arranged site a not for profit farm set in fields with the high peaks surrounding the view. This day the mountains would vanish under the wet snow hanging in the air. I was the first one there. No one else is on the property. The snow makes a shushing sound. Lots of wonderful compositions. Apple trees almost finished shedding brown leathery leaves. Rocks still warm from some ambient heat have snow caps, black and white. The snow had come in from the south, stuck to the sides of the trees - straight up. A murder of crows hang out on the long drive,  keeping their toes warm I imagine. There is no snow on the road so it must be warmer than standing about in the snow-covered field.

The light low, obscured by the clouds, an amazing peaceful place.

I set up to get a small pastel done of an apple tree and split rail fence. About two hours into it one other brave soul showed up. I finished up - having gotten something in color and in my sketch book. The umbrella worked great - no spots on the work. We talked for a bit and she obliged me by taking some pictures of me at work. In the time we talked the temps rose and the snow stopped. The far tree line became visible but not the mountains.

I am only good for a short stint. I packed up and headed back to the studio. It was well worth the effort to get out to capture the essence of the first snow. I'm still revisiting those images.

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