Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter landscape - river shoreline, pastel

Winding down the "winter landscape" series with another river scene (and a plein air)...

Winter Shoreline
12x16 inches - pastel on Strathmore
© 2012, S.Johnson
I had the realization a few days ago that I'm pretty much done with winter now, both the season and probably most of the paintings.  As enjoyable and successful as I think they've been, it's now time for me to move on to something new.

I checked my blog archives, and it was just around this time that I wrapped up my winter painting series last year - for the same reason.

Earlier this week, I also confirmed my suspicions that I'm probably not ever going to be a winter plein air painter:  the PAP4C, of which I am now officially a member, met on Wednesday to paint the Animas around town.  I was actually excited to get outside and try to get some painting done.  Temps in the mid-40's, with no wind.

The paint-outs usually start at 9AM, but it was in the low 20's then, so I waited until 11:00 to head out.  Things were fine at first - I selected a location just north of the library, which is where we met for the critique.   I was less than an hour into the painting when a slight breeze kicked up and some high thin clouds crossed the sun.  I have some thin gloves for painting during colder days, which I've used when the temps were in the mid-50's or so, and they were fine.  However, it didn't take long for the fingers of my right hand to get cold and start going numb; they are the weak link in my ability to be outdoors in low temperatures, particularly if I'm not moving.

At that point, I knew the session was over, as I couldn't concentrate any longer;  it felt like my right brain just turned off.  At the critique session, all whopping 6 of us who showed up were all complaining about the cold.

Anyway, in the spirit of "pictures, or it didn't happen", here's the painting as far as it got, after an hour of painting.  There is a flock of mallards that reside in the area, and if this doesn't end up in the trash, I may play around with adding some in there, just for kicks, because the composition is sort of boring:

Plein air interruptus
12x16 - black construction paper


  1. I like both of these, Sonya. When I see your posts on my "dashboard," they look like photographs. Even in the tiny thumbnails, your work reads so beautifully. You really have a special gift. Your winter series has been masterful.

    1. Darla, what a generous and sweet thing for you to say - thank you so much! Regarding the thumbnails: I usually choose which reference photos I use for a painting based on how good it looks as a thumbnail. It has turned out to be an easy and fast way to asses the potential of a photo via its various design elements (value, abstract shapes, edges, color, etc.).

      I try to do the same thing when out on location, although sometimes that's a bit more challenging!


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