To say that the past thirty days have been challenging would be an understatement.
I can't recall another winter so darned cold, and we've had enough snow to make us yearn for Spring. But I must say, I've learned a few things:
To wear a hat and gloves at all times.
To always have a snow scraper in my car.
That oil paints will stay fresh on a glass palette for days when left in a 38 degree studio.
As I painted last night I knew that once again the discipline of daily painting has improved me. Here's the last painting for January. I painted it to remind myself that very soon I'll be painting outside again.
Recently a friend shared with me some poems she wrote last year. Several of them are about the Boston Public Garden, and they have been knocking around in my head this month. Off I went, camera and pens in hand, to do some sketches with hopes of a painting or two coming out of it.
This winter Boston has been especially snowy, so the challenge of a warm sunset and all of those cold blue shadows on snow was interesting. I'm pretty sure that this little painting will lead to a much bigger one in the coming weeks, but I may need to see what the groundhog has to say about that next week.
Remember my description of my beautiful studio? It's an old sleeping porch with tons of glass, one lonely radiator, and insulated windows . And this January it has been cold .
No, it's really COLD...
Last night I decided to stay warm by the fire in our study and I sketched ideas on gesso board panels for Days 23, 24, and 25. I figured I'd be able to paint this morning if I got up early, right ? Get it done before heading in to work.
My alarm was set, I was good to go.
But Mother Nature had a different plan in mind... At least the paint on my palette will stay fresh. And frozen.
Talk about squeezing the last bit out of my Gerber Daisies. This is actually the painting that came after the one I scrubbed. Lots of painting and not a heck of a lot to show for it. So it goes.
I got into the pinks and greens for no particular reason, except that there's snow in the forecast and I'm feeling like Spring is a very long way off.
Better to post than to not post, I think.
This quick study is incomplete, but I gotta be honest: The Patriots are playing.
Yesterday I panicked, just a little bit. It starting snowing fast and furious in the morning, and I settled in for a day of painting. Realizing that I leave in just two weeks for Arizona, I thought about having to plan for extra travel time if the weather continues to be so dramatic.
Then it hit me: I leave in TWO weeks! For a workshop with Rose Frantzen no less.
So I spent the day in my studio trying to mix up skin tones.
To be continued...
Summer on the Cape is pretty wonderful, and the view from our place happens to face west. That's Marion, Massachusetts across the bay.
Right now summer is distant memory. But the clouds were beautiful this past week, and so I'm determined to do a winter sky before the 30 Day Challenge ends… I just need the rain to stop and the snow to hold off for a day or two.
Watch for it.
It wasn't just warmer today, I could swear that it was lighter, longer . I left work early, at a few minutes past 5:00, and it seemed like the sun set more recently than I had expected .
Does wishing make it so?
I bought some sunflowers a while back, and saved my photos and the sketches of them for a future painting. The future arrived last night, but had stiff competition for my attention as the Patriots were playing some pretty entertaining football at the same time.
We worked it out.
It's not quite complete yet, but I have the rest of the afternoon to finish it up. And the only competition for my attention are two tired labrador retrievers who are content to lie in the sun and sleep.
Okay, I admit that I'm pretty happy to have had two of these house portraits to post when my day job gets in the way of my painting. This lovely little house is now owned by a former neighbor of ours, and let's just say "I knew him when"… when he was in first grade.
Sitting around (or standing, now that I've got that new mega-easel I mentioned yesterday) painting for hours gives one time to ponder. It lets the mind wander, to think about the past and the hopes for the future. The owner of this particular house is at the start of, well, everything. Life is all in front of him, and it's his for the taking.
Which makes me think about where I find myself and most of my friends at this stage of life. John, my ever-loving husband, likes to say that we are getting pushed up to the front of the line. Which is true, it's important to take the time to look around as we inch our way up front.
There are benefits to having an unobstructed view.
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