I am rather proud to present you with this. It is an image of Aldro Hibbard from the late 1930's taken from the Rockport Art Association ten year book from the year 1940. He does not have the strut across his Gloucester easel and has a weight hung from the center of the easel.
For those of you in far away countries or warmer climes, wondering whats with all of this Aldro Hibbard stuff? He is my hero and an absolutely fabulous snow painter who lived into the 1970's. All of us snow painters in New England model ourselves on Aldro, Emile Gruppe and Willard Metcalf.
Beside him is a pair of snowshoes and behind him is his sled for hauling his equipment into the woods. Judging from the picture on the easel he was in Vermont.
I want to write just a little more about winter painting clothes. We have covered boots and gloves.You will also need a good pair of long underwear, I use the polar weight from Cabelas, and a flannel or turtleneck cotton shirt. On top of that you will need a pair of insulated nylon snow pants, the sort sold for snowboarders, skiers or snowmobilers. I wear a fleece top and then an insulated Parka. Mine is a very inexpensive synthetic unit but it is large and looks like Arctic gear. The highway crew outfits made by Carhartt are OK and the down Trans Alaska parkas from Cabelas are the absolute best. You probably already have a winter parka that will do if you live in the North. If you have good boots the rest of the equipment is negotiable. If your boots aren't good, nothing else you wear will help. The boots are like the foundation of a house. I don't wear special socks but I have those arctic boots, if you don't, you may need layers of wool socks. Sometimes painters bring a piece of carpeting, cardboard or plywood to stand on, it will insulate you a little from the cold ground. A thermos full of coffee freezes more slowly than a can of soda, but I prefer my MOXIE.
There is an old saying ,"If your feet are cold, put on a hat". Most heat loss is out of there top of your head, so have a good hat and probably a stocking cap over that if it is real cold. Polyester fleece is a wonder product and fur is even better. It is always good to bring all of your winter gear in the car, if it suddenly gets colder, you can return to the car and get more clothing, if you are working far from your car, you may want to bring a little extra gear, too much is better than not enough.
I am sure you know, but I should say for safety's sake, save the alcohol for when you get home at the end of the day. Alcohol will make you colder, not warmer and leads to accidents in the woods. Leave it home.
I carry my camera and little music machine-ipod outside and they all seem pretty unaffected by the cold. I mentioned before but you should have a book of matches because you never know. A butane lighter becomes unreliable in the cold. Cell phones are nice these days and if you did have a problem like your car not starting, you might be very happy to have one.
I plan on doing another reader critique. If you want to be a part of that e-mail me a reasonably sized image of a painting at email@example.com put the word critique in the subject line please. I will gather those for a week or so. I am going to limit submissions to landscapes as I feel most comfortable critiquing those online. Portraits, etc, it is best to critique with the model present. I remove signatures from the art I crit and I will not disclose whose art it is that I select.
Also I am going to write an "Ask Stape post for the Fine Arts Views site and I could use some questions. If you have art questions for me please e-mail those in and I will direct you to that post when it happens. Thanks.