Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The last two paint-outs: variety!

The last two paint-outs were sunny and clear skies.  We had another artist, Emma, join us.  We are growing!   On Jan. 8 we met at an historic cattle ranch "park" outside of Carson City, called Silver Saddle Ranch.  Here are some pictures showing the views.  It is amazing that calves are being born in this frigid weather.

On Jan. 15 we three met on Mt. Rose at the ski school location of Sky Tavern when it was closed for skiing.  It was warmer ---- a toasty 37 degrees!  I have a new set-up for my oils - an old paintbox mounted on a tripod.  Much easier and lighter than the french easel!  I actually needed to snowshoe where I painted because the snow was not packed down there and was quite deep.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Last-minute paint-out .... 24 degrees F !

As much as I'd like to schedule a paint-out for other to attend, this time of year and this location makes it almost impossible unless it is last-minute - so it is between people who know each other and telephone or email to get together.

To keep everyone thinking about going out to paint, I will "share and tell" last-minute paint-outs, and maybe you will try some of these locations on your own when you can.  I am also thinking of posting various plein-air kits that people have in different mediums, and lists of weather-specific items you must bring.  That will be in a later post.

Carol G. and I went to the south end of Washoe Lake at the parkinglot where it is called the Wetlands and there is a boardwalk that goes out over the marsh with a wildlife viewing platform.  It was about 10:30 am on New Years Day....and it was sunny and clear (a little hazy due to inversion) and it was about 24 degrees when we got there!  Carol says  "meeting the challenge of painting outside on a stunningly beautiful winter day in Nevada; the air is cold, crisp  and light at the Washoe Lake Wetlands, intense!"

Carol chose to walk out on the boardwalk to the end to capture the marshlands and Slide Mountain.  I chose the parking lot where there was a beautiful view looking southwest.  (I also enjoyed the back hatch of my subaru for a place to put things and have hot tea out of a thermos (with a shot of something else in it to ease a scratching throat!).

One thing I recommend (I heard some other artists do this) is to premix a palette of color at home.  I knew where we were going, I knew the sun would light up the snow and the snow in shadow would reflect the clear blue sky, and I knew there would be reddish and brownish willows and trees and ochre colored grass poking through.  This REALLY helped!  I finished an 8 x 10 in a record 1-1/2 hour!  I also left my french easel partially assembled in the back of the subaru so that all I had to do was extend the legs.  That really helped because you need fingers to tighten those pesky wingnuts - and my fingers got real cold being out - so it was great to have that part of it done already.

We wore what people would wear to go snow shoeing or skiing - long underwear, wool socks, big boots with tread, a wool hat or ear covers are a must, Big Poofy Jacket of some kind, sweaters, T-necks, mittens or gloves, and sunglasses!!!!  Must protect from snow blindness!  Maybe you will be surprised how your painting looks at home without the glasses - but better that then damage your eyes!

It was a beautiful and and we are so glad we went out!  It IS DO-ABLE in the winter!