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Fresh Air & Frozen Water

It was one of those drop dead gorgeous early spring days… 

We headed up to Mousam Lake in Emery Mills, a small town in the “lake district” of  York County, Maine.  This area near New Hampshire is hilly and sprinkled with small, granite rimmed  lakes. 
I’ve been painting larger pictures in my studio so for this outdoor plein air adventure I brought a 30×40 canvas panel and my large easel. 

This place is empty at this time of the year, so I parked right on the edge of the marina with a great view down Little Mousam Lake.

The small patch of open water was edged on one side with large white pines. 

Recently I realized I don’t like the conventional sizes of manufactured canvases and frames. It doesn’t match my intuitive sense of dimensions for a painting.
I decided I’d use this large canvas for a number of small paintings. I sketched in 5 different sizes I liked. I wanted a variety of sizes and different views of the scene in front of me.   

Of course one of them would be a sky scape…the clouds were huge and interesting, rolling steadily across the sky.  

I really enjoy the challenge of painting several scenes at one location. It’s liberating and flows naturally like sketching in a sketchbook except its bigger…  

I gave myself three hours to paint the studies and moved fast to get the paint on the canvas. 

It was chilly with a stiff spring breeze blowing right up the lake at me. 

I  love having my car near by while I am painting.  When I need extra supplies I just have to turn around and reach for them in the “car studio”.

I needed 2 bungie cords to hold my canvas on the easel. But the easel didn’t even budge in the wind.  I LOVE this set up !  

As it got later in the afternoon the wind began to die down.

It may not look like it; but I am racing along with these paintings. One of the things I didn’t have to think about was the tide changing, which is a nice thing about fresh water, it doesn’t disappear every six hours …   

I only had to think about the clouds, light and sky changing. 

As the sun dropped lower in the west the reflection on the water next to me was blinding. 

The shadows of the trees were stretching across the ice.

Pretty soon the sun went down behind the hills and the lake was all in shadow.

The clouds changed into a big,solid,misty bank that looked like it was dropping bands of distant snow showers. 
I managed to block in most of the five studies and get enough information so that I can finish them in the studio. That felt good!

As evening moved in the wind disappeared completely and these perfect reflections appeared on the surface of the water.   

For videos see: PAINT, EAT SLEEP

2 thoughts on “Fresh Air & Frozen Water

  1. Thank you for the beautiful photos of Little Mousam. I spent my youth at the family camp there and the pictures brought back many happy memories

    1. You are welcome ! Its a great place to paint off season.

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