So here we are at the end of the first month of 2009. I don't know how many times it's snowed so far in the new year, but the storms have been lengthy and have filled me with a sense of serenity. I thought I'd post some older photos. Here's one of me out painting on Lynd's Fruit Farm a couple of years ago. The orchards are 5 miles from where I live, and they are particularly beautiful to look at in winter, and even more beautiful when there is snow on the ground.
The bark of the trees changes color in winter, taking on neutral colors with pinkish or greyish overtones. And the bark is shiny and smooth. It is wonderful to walk among the trees and see which one is calling out to be painted. And, it's a difficult subject matter. But I like the linear quality of the limbs against the snow and sky.
Here is a painting done in December 2003. There was the lightest snow falling and just a dusting on the ground which fell in the early morning. I had hosted the artists from OPAS out to paint the orchard in the morning and then have a hot soup lunch and critique back at my house. We had quite a few artists come out that first year. None of us were really hardened to painting in the cold, but we all tried. Some didn't dress smartly at all, and they wanted to get back to the house for hot coffee and heat. So, I didn't paint as long as I might have. This 16" x 20" was done in half an hour or so. It's not a sophisticated painting, but I do think that you get the feel of a raw Ohio morning. I know I was cold.
There was 12" of snow on the ground when I went out a month later in my husband's four wheel drive. It was Super Bowl Sunday but I could care less for football. The snow was coming down hard. Martin was away on a job so I went out to the orchard, sat in the car with the engine running and the windshield wipers going and painted this 10" x 12". I think you can see a big difference in the the quality of the painting, dictated by the state of comfort of the artist. I was warm while painting this one.
Like I said, these are older paintings, from around 2003 - 2004.
This next one was painted in December 2005, the year we had the massive ice storm that took out power in Central Ohio for a week or more for some. Here in "the country", we lost power for about three hours at a time and then the heat would come back on for an hour or more and the cycle would start all over again. We were relatively comfortable through it all.
The storm made for some gorgeous scenes. Among other things, sunrise through freezing fog was awesome. I got up every day at 5:30am and drove around the same route. There were paintings out there for sure. It was amazingly quiet and beautiful. Mostly, I just looked, taking in the memory of it for reference, and taking a few photos as well. I always had my easel with me, but didn't use it often. Still, one morning, I got out of the car and stood in the cold and painted this 8" x 10". Painting at dawn. I was chilled. The light changed quickly. I didn't want to fall into the trap of painting into the light, so I quit within half an hour. I think you have to agree that this is a cold scene. I sold it to someone that understood cold; the painting now lives in the great state of Alaska.