Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Snow

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, and we are in the middle of our first snowstorm. Today, I wanted to use up the paint on my palette by doing one last oil painting. I'm in the middle of preparing for our winter trip, and cleaning up the studio, which includes cleaning off the palette, is one bullet on my lengthy list.

But because a stiff wind is pushing the wind chill down to 10˚F, and the air is full of snow, I decided to paint from the French doors in our bedroom. The doors look out on a thicket of saplings, older trees and underbrush that really comes into its full glory in a snowy winter. The maples especially are beautiful with their eccentric curves. I picked one of my favorites to paint.

The thicket behind the maple is a very busy area, full of criss-crossing branches and all the stuff that makes it a good home for red squirrels. For Saba, our dog, it's a fascinating place, but for a painter, it needs to be simplified in order to stay in the background. For this painting, I even removed a couple of large trees that were quite close to my main subject. I didn't want anything to compete with the maple's curves and angles.

"First Snow"
7x5, oil, en plein air

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