Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Turn in the Road

One of my favorite things to do is to load my car with my plein air stuff (I keep it all in a giant LL Bean boat bag so I am ready to go in minutes!) and set out to find a new place to sketch/paint close to our farm. I really need a bumper sticker that says "I brake for great sketching spots!" as I undoubtedly annoy people behind me. I had seen this barn on a drive the week before but saw no place to pull off the road.

Today, I decided to go back and drive slower to see if I could find a place to park. Driving back I realized there was a housing development right across the road. Funny, I hadn't even noticed that the first time I drove by! I parked and set up across the street to the side of the driveway.

I just loved the snowy driveway and snow covered fields... the rows of old crops peeking through. The sweeping view up to the barn was incredible. The light was perfect! It was chilly with light winds... and my watercolors were freezing a bit which made it challenging. It helped to keep stepping out of the way for the sun to hit my paper.  I had to work fast -- only mixing what I could use in a few brush strokes before it could freeze.

I like the effect of the cold on the paints! The key is to not panic... I just go with it! If you try to rework the areas that are freezing you end up lifting the paint in big icy flakes which fall off the paper. You can see the neat ice feathering in the sky and the freezing effect in the evergreen trees. When I am finished I bring it back into my car being careful to keep it flat so the paints and ice crystals can dry.

Painting in winter's cold forces you to work fast and to make quick decisions. I like it! The colors fascinate me and the shadows on snow are so wonderful. I am so glad I took this turn in the road to discover this new spot to paint. I look forward to returning.


Elissa said...

A beauty Jane!

Jane Ramsey said...

Thanks Elissa! Less than a mile from my house too! Looking forward to another paint out with you.