In the meantime, I'm getting familiar with the territory. If I'm teaching a plein air workshop in an area where I've not painted before, I find it's important to get a handle on the landscape by painting a few small sketches. I've hiked a lot in the Adirondack Mountains, but that was before I looked at the world with a painter's eye.
Old Forge is one of the coldest wintertime places in the lower 48. Right now, even though tomorrow is May Day, the trees are still leafless and one can find the occasional scrap of snow. But the sugar maples are budding, and yesterday, a mayfly lit on my hand.
After scouting out plein air locations for the workshop, I decided to relax by painting a view of Lake Serene behind our camping cabin. My goal was to find the right palette for this season. The hills are a cool red-violet, but the budding maples give a warmer, redder cast to them. The grasses are still a winter-beaten silvery-green and dull wheat color. Some of the richest colors are the reflected sky blues in the water.