Today was a really cold day. Did it even up to 15 degrees ? I was working in the studio all day. After lunch I felt like taking a nap. Instead I went outside and restocked the bird feeders. They had emptied one in just about 5 hours. When it’s cold they need to eat lots of food to stay warm. I was immediately revived by the cold, fresh air. I felt great. Being outdoors is the best!
That said, I was back working away in the studio when I realized the day was slipping away from me. I looked out the window, saw the late afternoon sun shining on the neighbors house and promptly painted it before the shadows moved too much. I didn’t even get a chance to go outside. The light was moving so fast. I just grabbed one of my easels that was already set up with paint and kept painting until I was done! I like painting these quick impressions. I can get them done easily and capture that thing that first caught my eye.
It snowed heavily this morning. Big, fat, fluffy flakes came down steadily. It was wet, heavy spring snow, coating the trees, cars and ground. The roads melted to blacktop. I thought I was surely going to be painting a white on white scene today.
Then chores and tasks took more time that planned. The sun made an a appearance very late, just before sunset. I was in the middle of doing something in my studio when out of the corner of my eye I saw the sky begin to flame in gorgeous colors. I picked up my brush, grabbed a panel and set up immediately. The light, clouds and colors changed every 2 minutes. I would look at the sky, paint, look again and it would be totally different. Zap it was gone ! It all happened so fast I had to paint it from my studio looking out the window at the sky. There was no time to go outside and set up my easel. It was grab the scene or miss it. So I grabbed it.
I decided to try something different today. I wanted to see if I could paint the view from the living room into the dining room. I wanted to do this while sitting comfortably on the couch , with a tiny pochade box on my knee. Ha ! A very funny experience. I painted with gouache as I couldn’t bring myself to use oils while sitting on the couch. (That would be a real mess if I dumped something on the rug.) Yes, I even had a cup of tea next to me. It was hilarious. The complete opposite of my outdoor painting excursions, wearing lots of clothes in subfreezing temps.
I was painting in a landscape all full of man made stuff and things. I was inside a man made thing painting all man made things except the geraniums on the bookcase in front of the window. I liked doing this and would really like to paint it in oil. I like interiors and I think about how Pete the Street (Peter Brown) paints his front hallway and his daughter’s bedroom. I think I will do some more interiors.
Mixed it up today. I decided to paint with gouache instead of oil. Its a bit trickier than oils as it changes color when it dries. Plus it can do some things nice things that watercolor does even though it is an opaque media. I love the stuff! But there are no guarantees it going to look close to the color I intended when I put it down. So… My light is moving fast and I’m moving fast so its a tricky media in cold weather and damp conditions.
The temperatures were dropping steadily this afternoon when the sun came out. To work around the cold temps and long drying time I decided to paint an interior scene. Then I changed my mind when I saw the light streaming across snow on the back field. I set up my 6×8″ mini pochade box in the kitchen and painted the fleeting view out the window. It was great fun! I think I’ll do some more gouache paintings of landscapes from my car with the heat turned on to dry them fast. This might be the way to go with gouache until the temps rise above freezing again.
It was warm today. Really warm. I think it was the January thaw. It won’t last for long. But I pretended it was spring and set up my easel out in the field behind my studio in the late afternoon.
I noticed I’m not painting in the morning yet as I have a tendency to make myself finish all my chores before I reward myself with a painting session. I might just mix it up and do some early morning painting one of these days. The winter sun is great at any time of the day as it’s so low in the sky there are always great shadows.
With this daily project I’m picking a wide variety of subjects . I’m often choosing things that are deliberately difficult. Or that are vary basic and simple. I’m trying to make designs where there aren’t any. Marcus will walk up to the easel and look at the painting and say “There she is again painting something out of nothing”. This cluster of buildings at dusk are on the other side of the field on Portland St. Someone had the back door light on. It was time for the kids to come in from playing and have some supper. See you tomorrow…
It was a busy packed day. Taught a class to a great group of enthusiastic painters this morning then came home to work in the studio and get it organized. I stepped outside around 5 to see the moon rising into the misty clouds that moved in this afternoon. We are getting snow tonight.
I originally planned to paint my house after dark from the back yard. Then I saw the moon over my neighbors house and little lights in the street beyond. That was it! I set up my easel in the side yard next to my studio and went to it. It was still, calm, cold and quiet. Within minutes I was just so happy. It is so awesome to be outside painting in winter. It’s the quiet season. I could hear my neighbor the next block over letting their dog outside to run around the yard. He was dashing around in the cold having a great time. Everything was a deep shade of blue and violet. It was beautiful. Tomorrow is another great day to paint. See you then….