I can’t believe I don’t know when the last time I’ve gotten out and jumped down in the snow and did a snow angel. I do know that it has been a LONG time. I’m too practical now-a-days. Ha! I’ve never been accused of that before. Well I still haven’t done it, but I have been out taking advantage of this wonderful snowy weather, getting a little bit of painting experience in another “extreme”.
Last Thursday you might say we had a blizzard. I would say that, those of our friends who live a little bit farther to the North might not, but where we are at, it was a blizzard. Snow was coming down at about 2 inches an hour, heavy winds, cold and when all was said and one, we finished up with 13 inches.
What I did instead of jumping into the snow and making our snow angels, is I grabbed my gear, put some extra layers on and headed out to paint. I was out right in the middle I of the heaviest snowfall, better to be out painting in it, than driving in it, and boy if I didn’t learn a lot. The wonderful thing that this weather does for m, is it helps me paint much faster, and I need that. I can get caught up in something, and easily overwork it. Painting in adverse conditions puts natures own timer on you, and helps to loosen things up.
No problem with the paint getting too cold, but I found I needed to hold my pallet upside down to keep the snow from covering everything up. I had pre-treated my canvas with a turpenoid wash to allow the paint to stick through the snow and wet. I did have a problem with the paint mixing with the snow and getting a “sandy” texture to it. I thought this odd, but because the paints were below freezing, the snow stayed as a solid when it hit the paint, and mixed together like a grit. It looked like I was trying to do a rough grained fresco or something. I tried an umbrella, but the wind was swirling around so much, I took it off because it didn’t help. I painted on, and when finished and after it was brought indoors and warmed up to room temp, I just “shook” off the water, with no harm done.
I enjoyed the experience, and think the painting was well worth the effort. Today, it was much easier. I went out at sunrise to paint a “snowscape” and had no problems with the weather. It was just 23 degrees, and the snow coupled with Tuesdays snowfall came up past my knees.
I like painting snow scenes. The fact that snow breaks the normal rules of painting outdoors is a lot of fun. Gives you a different set of things to think about as you set out your paints. Is painting outdoors in the driving snow, or sub-freezing temps a practical thing to do when you can just snap a photograph and pull it up on your computer screen next to your easel and paint away, turn up the music, and get another cup of wine. One may not think it practical, but neither are snow angels.