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

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

 

Bright Morning

TM9513 Bright Morning 30×36 oil on panel

Bring the sunglasses! After a fresh snowfall, the sunlight on snow can be blindingly bright. This humble view from a roadside shows how even the simplest things gain some magic with snow. I love the varying color and ice patterns as streams and creeks freeze, and the dancing light snow blown across their surfaces. The jumble of growth along the edge of the woods, buried in snow, deserves another look. Maybe there’s a more abstract painting caught in that thicket? We’ll see. For now, details below. Enjoy.

TM9513 Bright Morning – detail showing frozen creek

TM9513 Bright Morning – detail from edge of woods