Meltwater Season

TM9520 Meltwater Season 36×54 oil on panel

March is a strange month – full of bluster and cold, while at the same time offering glimpses of warmth. Colors are muted, but the varieties of ice can be amazing as ponds and creeks go through cycles of freezing and thawing. Meltwater Season is mostly about the scrims of ice vying with passages of open water, ice floes below the surface, frozen bubbles and air pockets, and the frame of snow and ice retreating along the shore of this glorious in-between season. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9520 Meltware Season – detail whre shore meets pond with ice and snow

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from left side with thin ice

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from lower center with last scrim of ice over liquid water

TM9520 Meltwater Season – detail from upper left

Technical painting notes: I developed the painting in layers, starting with rolls of deep browns and blueish grays. These were followed by some intricate brush work to describe underlying vegetation – which was followed up with more roller work with semi-transparent paint to “bury” the details under snow and ice. Below is the painting at mid-stage in development.

Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning)

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) 30×60 oil on panel

My winter walks in the woods provide a complex feast of interlocking bare branches and tangled vines, all partially adorned with ice or snow. Painting the wild exuberance of all that rhythm can be intimidating. Studies and smaller paintings can help the process, but sometimes it’s a leap of faith that’s required. So dive I must, wielding multiple rollers and a few brushes loaded with paint. It is an invigorating way to paint. I think the result does describe the woods and season I love. Details below.

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from left side with burdened branches

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from lower right

TM9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) – detail from lower center with snow and ice on bare branches

T9521 Everything that could be seen, and some that couldn’t (aka Winter Morning) detail from center, top to bottom

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Notes from a Winter Trail – The Sun Came Out

TM9519 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Sun Came Out 36×42 oil on panel

This painting is all about joy when sunlight peaks through the last snow flakes. Or maybe it’s about the pleasure of hiking into the woods in February. Or both, and more. I just know painting impressions of winter is fun.  Enjoy.

Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing 36×42 oil on panel

It’s repetitious to keep saying snowfalls are magical, but there aren’t enough good synonyms. This past week I took a hike around Purgatory Chasm State Park along the Charley Loop.  Snow was still clinging to the trees from a heavy snowfall, but now the sun was out and the sparkles of snow dust in the air were spectacular. Everything looked so clean and bright, I fairly danced my way into the woods (p.s. thank you to the person who compacted the snow trail!).  I expect there will be more paintings from this hike, and another storm is on the way. It’s a good winter so far. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from upper left and center

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from lower left

TM9518 Notes from a Winter Trail – The Clearing – detail from right of center

January on the Ridgeline

TM9517 January on the Ridgeline 36×44 oil on panel

I love driving Route 2 from Boston to Williamstown. Every direction has rolling hills that keep growing, until finally you are squirming your way through the mountains and following river gorges. The shadows are long in January, and there is time to savor the blues and violets of the season. Even the old fields feel sacred in this light. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9517 January on the Ridgeline – close-up from center right

TM9517 January on the Ridgeline – detail from shadows with snow-covered field edge

North Woods Creek

TM9516 North Woods Winter 36×48 oil on panel

With the right gear, nothing beats a winter day exploring the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This frozen creek, known locally as “the bowl” is just off interstate 93, and provides inspiration in any season (though I like winter). The drama of the off-kilter boulders and ice can be dangerous, but it offers a glimpse of the sublime, where intoxicating beauty and danger collide. It took many years of experience painting before I dared trying to paint the bowl, but now I want to go back and get more views. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9516 North Woods Creek – close-up showing rocky terrain

TM9516 North Woods Creek – detail from lower left with ice flow and boulders

TM9516 North Woods Creek – detail from upper center

TM9516 North Woods Creek – detail from left side

Evening Reaches the Pond

TM9515 Evening Reaches the Pond 36×48 oil on panel

The shadows are deepening, but there is still some light – enough to see the shimmering, overhanging boughs at the pond. It is quiet. My thoughts merge with the reflections before going indoors to start supper. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9515 Evening Reaches the Pond – detail from lower left

TM9515Evening Reaches the Pond – detail from central shadows

TM9515 Evening Reaches the Pond – detail from lower right

TM9515 Evening Reaches the Pond – detail from upper left with overhanging boughs

Technical painting notes: Much of this painting was developed using soft rubber rollers in assorted sizes, refined by brushwork and glazes. I find that the interactions of rolled strokes and hand brushed strokes provides variety and excitement, even though, in this case, the values are close.  Arbitrary accidents frequently occur when rolling paint, and these too lend interest; nature is full of accidents.

 

Setting Out

TM9514 Setting Out 36×40 oil on panel

My favorite sort of January morning, great light and time enough to take a short hike before hitting the studio. Of course everything I see will find its way into the painting I’m working on, and I guess that’s how it should be. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9514 Setting Out – detail from top center

TM9514 Setting Out – detail from foreground

TM9514 Setting Out – detail from shadows