First Snow

TM8816 First Snow 36x60 oil on panel

TM8816 First Snow 36×60 oil on panel

Snowfalls are magical.  A woodland that, in November, can seem so sadly bereft of its green adornments suddenly begins to sparkle.  The air seems to vibrate with a quiet excitement, and everything is suddenly clean and pure. I look forward to that first snowfall every year. When it doesn’t come soon enough to meet my needs, I invent it. So here it is – the world wiped clean, in all its stark and lovely splendor. No human voices to interrupt the stillness. Maybe the rustle of a few branches, but we won’t see the creature treading the undergrowth. It is the  woods, offering us respite. Enjoy.

TM8816 First Snow - detail from lower left of center looking into young woodland thicket in late November

TM8816 First Snow – detail from lower left of center looking into young woodland thicket in late November

TM8816 Firat Snow - detail from lower left side

TM8816 Firat Snow – detail from lower left side

TM8816 First Snow - detail from lower center with tangle of fallen branches

TM8816 First Snow – detail from lower center with tangle of fallen branches

TM8816 First Snow - detail from lower right looking through tree trunks and the season's last blowing leaves

TM8816 First Snow – detail from lower right looking through tree trunks and the season’s last blowing leaves

Technical painting notes: The painting is on an alkyd-primed panel. I began work on the painting thinking of it as a monoprint. I used a soft rubber roller to apply a mix of burnt sienna and black, establishing the rhythm of vertical tree trunks. I then interrupted the lines using a mix of stand oil and mineral spirits applied loosely with a remnant of plastic wrap.  A silicone scraper was used to delineate some of the branches, and paint  (sometimes just solvent) was spritzed onto the surface. When this first layer was dry, I worked into the image with soft brushes and thin paint, glazed, and added brushfulls of flung “snow” (white paint mixed with an alkyd medium).  Actually, I thought the painting was finished at this point, but after a few weeks consideration, I glazed more color into the woods and strengthened some of the yellow twigs. Additional snow finished the painting.

TM8816 First Snow 36x60 oil on panel

TM8816 First Snow, partially completed

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