I painted at Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, NH this week. What a blast! The January thaw had melted all the snow in the fields. The light and colors were muted and gentle. It was 40 degrees until the sun started to set. We were loving it! “Fields Edge” 3×5 $125. Available. Photo: Mary Byrom
WINTER PLEIN AIR
MY DEMO & POP UP SALE ON SATURDAY WAS A BLAST !
We had a great time on Saturday. I gave 2 demos. The first one was for guests who visited in person and the second demo was broadcast live on Instagram. What a hoot!
I love doing these demos and I think Marcus (my hubby) has found a niche that is a perfect fit for him ! As soon as we go live he thinks he has his own comedy TV show. Everyone was laughing . It was so much fun!
Almost Home, 4×6″ acrylic $195. This painting is available at the LL&D show at McGowan Fine Art in Concord, NH. If you wish to purchase this painting please let me know.Available Photo: Mary Byrom
MORE NEW PRINTS RELEASED THIS WEEK …(7 new ones) on my site on Fine Art America
“Ready to Go” is now available in a variety of sizes as a high quality giclee here.
If you wish to purchase note cards and prints of my paintings, they are being posted on my page “Mary Byrom Fine Art America”. You can follow my page on Fine Art America for notification as I release new paintings into print editions.
A select collection is available now and more are posted on a daily basis. I will be releasing small studies and reproductions of some of my larger paintings.
The sap is running! We may still think it’s winter and and we probably will have a few more snowstorms, but winter is not here for long. The sap is running. Maple syrup season will start soon, it’s the first harbinger of spring in the Northeast. This is one of the things I notice about painting outside; I become attuned to all the small changes around me. The small little things get my attention. The sap splashing onto my studio deck. The extra minutes of sunlight at sunset. The thawing of the ice in the marsh. The inching of nature minute by minute toward the next season, even if this past one is still lingering. I feel the end of winter coming faster than I’d like it to. I’d like it to linger longer as I feel it just barely got here. I enjoyed autumn as it lingered into December and now winter? Will this be the winter that just barely touched down? When I was younger I enjoyed piloting little single engine airplanes. Yes, real airplanes up in the sky! To learn how a plane handles I used to practice something called “touch & go”. I’d circle around the sky above the airport coming down to land just barely touching the tarmac with the wheels of the plane only to rise again immediately. It was a way to practice landing and taking off. But the plane was always in motion. I was always moving forward. Now I’m thinking of stopping and pausing more often, looking around, checking things out. This practice of “touch & go” when learning to fly a plane reminded me of a painting practice called “starts”. “Starts” are quick paintings/studies completed in 20 minutes. What is the value of a “start”? You see what you are doing right or wrong really fast. You learn how you “see”, how you process information, how you judge light and color. You don’t spend hours of time on a painting just to find out in the end that it ” doesn’t look quite right”. You see what isn’t working and in the next “start” you do it differently. You don’t spend endless amounts of time trying to” fix” something.
I’m teaching two studio classes that I really love. We are painting lots of “starts” and the growth I see in these students is wonderful. I realized when I was watching the painting students in their process that they were not unusual. They are struggling with the same things we all are challenged with as painters. The difference is that we have more experience with challenges if we have been painting for a long time. I think the difference between a beginner and experienced painter is that the experienced painter has more experiences encountering challenges and solving problems. The more paintings you make the more experience you have with different situations and solutions to different problems. “Starts” allow you to solve more problems in a shorter amount of time. You begin, develop and end a painting in 20 min, so you learn much faster than if you took 6 hours to go through that process. For inexperienced painters I see it makes a difference. They begin to understand how to speak the language of painting. They use the brush with paint to express their unique perspective. I noticed the more often they paint the better they get at expressing themselves. When handling the medium of paint is a comfortable process, the creation of the painting is enjoyable. I see too many painters painting in en plein air out side of their comfort zone, simply fighting with their materials. It’s difficult enough already to paint en plein air dealing with the elements and weather, so its my aim to make our painting process so much a part of us its like having a conversation, but instead of words its with paint.
If you are thinking you’d like to improve your painting skills before the warm weather arrives you can sign up now for the next session. Classes are small with lots of personal attention.
Be prepared for a lot of painting and a lot of fun!
The next session begins on Tuesday, February 16th. If you would like to join this studio class please contact me. If you work with oils, watercolors, gouache or acrylics and want to gain some solid skills, comfort in your chosen medium and rapid improvement this is the class for you.
Painting when it’s cold outside is not a problem for me. I was painting in the White Mountains a couple of days ago in North Conway, New Hampshire. It was one of those perfect winter days with big clouds rolling across the sky above the violet blue mountains. A wind was blowing in from the west over the towering mountains and across the open valley in front of me.
The sun was low in the sky. It’s always low in the sky in winter up here in New England. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon the shadows were long. I set up my easel behind the open hatchback of my station wagon using my car is a windshield. This is what I do when I’m in a windy spot either on the coast or inland. It was a perfect day for painting with lots of great subject matter. After I finished my first painting a couple walking their dog came by. They said hello looked at my painting and the man said” I really admire you painting out here on a day like this.”
I said “Time is fleeting. There were only be so many more days when the sun is low like this and winter is here. Soon the days be longer, the snow will be gone and it will be summer. If I don’t get out here and grab it now I’ll never get out here to do it.” He said “That’s right, soon it’ll be summer and it will be warm again. I really can’t stand summer!” We all laughed.
They continued on their walk and I took out another panel and started painting the last light on the slopes in front of me.
There’s nothing like painting in winter. I’m going to grab every minute I can of this cold weather with its clear, sharp, clean arctic air, the blue shadows on the snow and the crisp, bright , twinkling light of the stars at night. When I head out I bundle up with all my extra layers of clothing. I adjust my thinking and painting medium to make my paints behave and I go out into that big, quiet space when all of nature in this northern climate is alive in deep, quiet places getting ready for spring. The days are already getting longer.
A really great thing happens when you are out doors painting…stuff just happens and you roll with it.
Hey, we know the rules of the game: its gets hot, its gets cold, it gets dark, the wind stops blowing, the wind starts blowing, the tide comes in, the tide goes out, it starts snowing, raining, sleeting or…it gets sunny!
A guy comes home from fishing and rows away in your “model dory”, a really big boat docks, blocking the view of your subject…or a guy drives up in a pickup truck, gets out a chain saw and cuts down the tree you are painting! Really – it happens.
My 5 star event was getting caught in a cattle drive in Targhee Canyon …
A quiet, moody morning on Adams Point was the perfect place to set up and paint. As winter moves into spring the changes are rapid. A couple of days of warm temperatures can make a huge difference. I really love watching the ice break up and move around as spots of open water take over the once frozen bay .