Sunday, February 24, 2013

Get Out There And Paint!

That is what I did today. Why? I dunno. Seemed like the prudent thing to do, that is, for about fifteen minutes. The thermometer said 40+ degrees at home. But down in the bottom of the canyon it was in the lower thirties, with a stiff breeze blowing. So much for playing it smart. I even waited later in the morning, until the light was not throwing long shadows, so it would be warmer. What the wind chill factor was, I have no idea. I only know that by the time I finished, I could no longer feel my finger tips. So grabbing the brush, even with my fingerless gloves, was proving to be quite a challenge.
I finally threw in the towel and cleaned up my spot, making sure to police the area for errant paper towels and runaway brushes.
I painted Karen Carr’s place again, but this time from another vantage point, looking slightly down on it. I included more of the buildings and no truck this time. The buildings were moved to be able to include the distant mountain range, which was decidedly blue today. It’s nice to play god and move things about; especially when the composition wouldn’t otherwise work. It is still recognizable, but slightly altered for compositional considerations. 
When you paint in the studio, you have complete setup control You abdicate that when you paint plein air. So I figure if I can't change the temp, the sun or the wind, I sure as heck can move a building!
Wind Canyon Etude 7
Oil on Board 11x14
The little bit of snow we have had has melted almost completely away. So my hope of getting some snow painting in has proved elusive.  The land still wears its golden brown dress and has not got any evidence of new greening about to pop up yet. So my palette was mostly in the muted gold and neutral range. This late winter painting gives me practice with mixing grays and neutrals, as in when painting the naked deciduous trees. With the lack of rain and snow in the area, I may have to restock the yellows and golds in my palette.
We still have a couple of months before the warmth comes back. Maybe we will get lucky and get some rain and snow. In the meanwhile, I guess I’ll learn to paint with paint that stiffens with the cold and wear another layer, like maybe a wind breaker. That is the price you pay for getting out there and painting.

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