I promised to paint more buildings. So I did. I painted a house in the middle of a cold, cold climate in the dead of winter. I made better house drawings when I was 10.
I have really lost touch with real cold, real snow, and a real winter. I do have memories, though, of the intense gloom of the woods in northern New York state. There was something so magical about them – the silence of the woods, the snow falling, the sense of being alone in the world. I liked the idea of capturing that with a building, on water, in the dead of winter.
Buildings mean people, even in the middle of nowhere, on a river. People usually mean unnecessary noise, and in the woods or hiking, the last thing I want is noise. Silence is something to be savored in our noisy age.
So, let’s get back to the “disastrous fun” of this posting. “Disastrous” as this is such an amateurish painting, and “fun” because the more I got into, and the more I realized how awful it was, the more fun I had. Making a “good” painting no longer had any meaning – it was the experience. And the snow.
The final touch was the snowflakes. White gouache to spatter. I spattered on the painting. It flew onto my glasses. I spattered some more. It flew onto my glasses. I changed how I was spattering, and there were streaks.
Snowflakes don’t streak in the real world. Spattering paint is an art form in and of itself.
Shadows on snow – blues, browns, limited palette. Cold.
I rather enjoy the winter, as long as I am not mucking about it in reality! As a kid, though, the woods and the new fallen snow on a bright clear day were a true slice of heaven.
In keeping with my winter themes and white space, here is another “I wish I lived in the snow!” picture!
This morning we are experiencing rain – a rare event in Southern California. Strange as it may sound, it made me think about painting something without lines, wetting the paper first, and working wet-in-wet, just to see what would happen. As a kid, I lived in upstate New York, out where pine woods and lakes were more common than people. I miss that solitude – walking in a snowy woods, flakes falling, listening to the silence, all alone in a cold, lonely, and intensely beautiful environment.
It’s the dead of winter in sunny old California, but tulips are not to be found even here until the spring. The beauty of tulips, especially the pale ones, is the vast and subtle array of colors found within a single blossom. As a kid in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, I loved the arrival of the tulips through the snow.
Inktober continues apace, but I have been going 100 mph for the past week. No time to focus on a theme. This morning, though, I thought about cold mountains and winter – where I live, it’s in the mid-80s to low-90s, and I could use a bit of blustery weather.
Here is a mountain – inky for Inktober
And here is the same scene, in cold and wintry colors.
I used to do a lot of Chinese painting, and I tried to incorporate the clouds in a rather Chinese-painting fashion, in ink and watercolor. Hints, not direct; subtlety rather than blatant. I’m not sure if it worked for the clouds between the mountains, but I definitely like the chilliness and fogginess of the scene overall.
Another study in Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber. These are really good colors for portraying cold and wintry conditions. Brr! Where I live, we have had weather in the 80s for much of January and February, so a break from the heat is much needed. Today, though, it’s a whopping 52 F.