- Category: Starflower Blog
- Published: Tuesday, 05 March 2013 06:55
- Written by Libby Davidson
- Hits: 3277
Wednesday, January 9, 2013: A wonderful snowy day at the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington, Vermont!
I had been over there to visit and ski the week before and saw this breathtaking view from the bridge looking downstream, with snow covering all the rocks. When my friends called to go painting, I immediately thought of the snow-covered creek. We met there around 10:30 am and strapped on our snowshoes, since the snow was still very deep. It was Mary's first time on snowshoes and she caught on quickly. The forecast was for a high of 39 degrees, but it was only 18 degrees here in Huntington! This would be quite a test for me and Jacquie, with our watercolors. Mary would be safe using her oil paints.
I had covered my carrying bags with plastic bags, so I could set them in the snow without getting everything soaked. Mary and I snowshoed down to the creek with our gear - it took several trips down - then Jacquie followed in our tramped path with her boots. I had remembered 3 large empty yogurt containers to put at the bottom of the legs of my ease, so they wouldn't disappear way down into the deep snow. It worked great, except I almost lost one down the bank to the creek. Tying a string from each yogurt container to the easel in the future would be useful in these types of conditions.
Mary and I stayed in our snowshoes to paint, as it kept us up off the cold snow, plus kept us from sinking into the depths of the snowpack. I found this to be a great solution when painting in deep snow. The scene was just as lovely as the week before. We were quite protected from most wind gusts, being down in the hollow.
I had brought a thermos of hot water, dipping my brush into it to keep everything from freezing too much. I used more water on my painting than Jacquie, so I noticed it would freeze on my paper. If I tried to paint over that, it wouldn't work. I was wearing my huge mitts the whole time, too, to keep warm, which made it more challenging to control the brush strokes.Quite far along into my painting, drips seemed to come from nowhere that went right down the center of my composition.It turned out that the temperature had risen to just above 32 degrees and snow was dripping off my easel. Meanwhile, gust of wind carried snow from the trees above down onto us and our paintings, making for interesting effects. It was an adventure for sure!
Remarkably, my 6.25 x 9.75" vertical watercolor came out better than I predicted, given all the variables. Actual paint time for me was from 10:45 am to 1:30 pm. The temperature did rise to 39 degrees by 1:30, when we started packing up, but with the wind chill, we were very glad to go inside the warm Birds of Vermont Museum to show that staff our paintings. No sun that day. Just gray skies, but none of us had any sky in our compositions anyway! The snow-laden creek had given us a lovely view to gaze upon as we painted.
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