Sunday, January 16, 2011

A painting day in the snow

I am on a painting trip in Vermont with a big group of artists. We have been out today and it is real cold and continues to snow on us. There is Renee Lammers and Barrett McDevitt.

When it is snowing it is pretty hard to paint outside. It turns your paint mixtures on your palette into something Barrett compares to grated Parmesan cheese. Here is Mike Graves working from the deck of an unused covered bridge. You have to find a shelter like an awning or a bandstand or picnic shelter in order to work.

Here is T.M. Nicholas working on a big canvas. It quit snowing so we moved to a hilltop overlooking some barns and houses and went to work. There was a cold wind blowing and it was gray, occasionally we got some light but it was pretty severe.

But within an hour or so, it turned into this. For the next couple of hours we worked from snow covered palettes and kept blowing the snow off of our paint. It is real difficult to control paint when it is like this, it turns into glue. We were determined to get something for our efforts so we cursed and worked and cursed some more until our boxes were filled with snow and we were painting with as much snow as paint.

I made this. Not my finest hour by any means, but I did manage to get the canvas covered. I will probably use this 18 by 24 inch sketch to make a painting in the studio. I have some information and an idea, but I don't like the design well enough to continue without redesigning the thing.

Here we are back at our cabin in the evening. That's T.M. Nicholas with Katherine Raynes.

This is from front to back Paul Goodnow, painter and master framer, John Caggiano, Barrett McDevitt, and Barbara Lussier.
Tomorrow, we hear the sun is going to shine. Perhaps I won't have to fight so hard to make a painting. Today was very trying indeed.


billspaintingmn said...

Congratulations! Braving the elements as a group has got to be supportive!
Creative cursing can be fun:) I often enjoy stringing phrases, with an Irish accent! Or maybe Russian accent!
When Im on a roll I break into the Canadian reserve.
(and I haven't even stepped ouside yet)

Kessie said...

You guys are much more hardcore than I am. There's no way I could stand out in the snow and the wind and paint. I can hardly even take photos when it's like that, because I'm too busy dashing from house to car and back again. You got a good color study on your canvas, though, so that's something!

Karla said...

I think your "sketch" is beautiful!

Unknown said...

You heard the joke about the two guys standing outside in weather such as you are describing, watching some folks trying to hit golf balls. "Look at those idiots. What are they doing out in weather like this?" To which the other responded,"Shut up and keep painting".
The problem I have is keeping my hands warm. I have Reynaud's Syndrome, a sort of short circuit in the thermostat. Just touching something cold, or the pressure of holding on to a brush, makes the hands lose circulation and go numb. But I'm sure I'm not the only one whose hands get cold, and wonder if there's any magic trick anybody else here has tried that might help.

Mary Byrom said...

I use a white umbrella when its snowing- it keeps the palette dry and I have plenty of light. Exactly where are you painting in VT? What road is the covered bridge on? Its looking very familiar. Hope conditions improve!
Deb love your joke!

Woodward Simons said...

HA Stape! This is why I'm going to Tucson for the month of February to paint with friends. Yeah, I'm such a wimp :-)

Hope you all have a marvelous time. Seeing that you'll be using your 18x24 as a study for a studio painting, time outside is never wasted for you.

Jesse said...

Boy does that look fun. I know what you mean about snow turning paint to glue. It is very frustrating. Maybe a good situation for some umbrellas?

I do like the start you have, if you play with moving some pieces around to change the design, please post the process!

Antonin Passemard said...

I wish I was there ...

Lyn A said...

When I was at Stape's workshop in Charleston my fingers were freezing. I have Reynaud's also. I went to Walmart, bought some of the hunter's handwarmers for about a dollar a pair and stuck them into a pair of polar fleece gloves that I had cut the tips of the fingers off of. The handwarmers stayed hot for about 8 hours and every time my fingertips got too cold, I could stick them into my palms for a bit. My hands were still cold, but I made it thru the day!!

Unknown said...

thanks, Lyn.. I have used those handwarmers, they're great, aren't they?... and they help, but I usually have to use mittens, which makes painting something of a challenge!!

Stapleton Kearns said...

We braved them today.

Stapleton Kearns said...

We ARE hardcore.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Stapleton Kearns said...

Don't know, all I have is ADD.

Stapleton Kearns said...

We got the light today but it was real cold.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I like the desert too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Are you good in the cold?

Stapleton Kearns said...

That sounds like a possible solution.