Painting #11 of 50: "Rosetti Birches"

Thursday, February 28, 2013: The weather forecast was way off. Instead of the rain and snow and cold temps, it was 40 degrees F with mostly sun and no wind. It was school vacation week so my daughter joined me to paint while my son and his friend walked down the trail to the beach. Somehow it all worked out. My daughter worked quickly and was finished with her watercolor way ahead of me, but kept herself occupied exploring the paths into the field nearby. The weather was lovely, so we could all relax on that front. I had on my heavy winter jacket and snow pants, but could have worn lighter layers. No gloves needed until the sun went behind the clouds.

Today I focused on the repeating groups of birches and their shadows across the path. The dried leaves on the ground were such a warm burnt sienna and there were only a few patches of snow in this part of the woods. Spring was in the air!

Painting #12 of 50: "Intervale and Mansfield"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013: Brother Eli's birthday...too bad he's not close enough to come paint with me, but I'm sure he's out exploring the woods of NH on skis today. Temps around 43 degrees F, sun coming through the clouds and very light winds, which meant we could now paint this beautiful view overlooking the Intervale from Burlington neighborhoods near Ethan Allen Park. Dried grasses matted down from winter made a good dry spot for me to set up my easel. Jacquie, who was close to the sidewalk, nearly got sucked under all the mud forming at her feet! My 4 x 13 1/2" composition was perfect for this wide view. Bend in river was calling to be painted, and a secondary bend further in the distance helped to lead the eye up toward Mt. Mansfield.

Initially downright balmy, but as soon as the sun went behind a large cloudbank, we felt the chill. Winds picked up midway, which caused us to pick up the pace, as the wind chill was fierce. I was happy for a warm car as I had worn wind pants rather than snow pants today. A 90 minute painting!

Painting #10 of 50: "Birch Tower"

Birches in winter

Thursday, February 21, 2013: It was a quick 5 minute hike up to the tower at Ethan Allen Park. The temperature was about 23 degrees F with a fierce wind, but the tower proved to be a great wind break. Jacquie was experiencing some freezing of the watercolors on her paper. I had this same challenge 2/4/13m but this time around I just dipped my brush in the hot water from my thermos and did not mix colors on the palette. I put colors on my brush from the paint wells then directly onto my paper with limited water. I didn't experience any "slushy" consistency of paints until just before finishing the painting. I only had one piece of watercolor paper taped up for a long narrow panoramic view, yet up by the tower the panoramic view was way too windy to paint. So I turned it into a super tall, narrow vertical of birch trees. Very unconventional shape for me!

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Painting #9 of 50: "Ethan Allen Homestead"

Friday, February 15, 2013: Went to Ethan Allen Homestead with the purpose of painting snow while we still had it. Temps in the upper 30's this week have diminished the snow cover. Though most fields there had more grass than snow, we discovered a snow covered field in front of Ethan Allen's restored home. Most of my time was spent sketching the house and trees. Realizing this, I exclaimed "I need to get out my brushes!" Even then, I spent a lot of time painting the details of the house and said "Enough! Time for a BIG brush!" That finally loosened me up to paint foreground dried grasses and fence post in quick fashion to save the painting from being too tight. Geese flew overhead in "V" formation, so I quickly included them.

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Painting #8 of 50: "Winter Day in the Intervale"

Winter in Burlington Intervale

 Monday, February 4, 2013: Decided to try out this path off North Avenue in Burlington that leads down to the Sea Caves. Easy hike down a very wide path to the bottom. Could have brought skates as the ice on the marsh was perfect! Temp started out at 24 degrees F but then dropped to 19 degrees F by the time we finished. Right from the start, I was having interesting challenges. The paint on my mixing palette was the consistency of a slushy. I tried putting hot water in my spray bottle, but the plastic started to melt. I did manage to use it to spray my paints in the wells quite often, yet it was still freezing up as I mixed colors. On the paper I had some success early on, then freezing pretty much on contact. When my painting eventually melted (back home), the cattails in the foreground changed considerably as the colors mingled.

 

 

 

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Welcome to Libby Davidson's Painting Blog

I am currently entering blogs from my 50 Project back in 2013-2014 as a way of sharing photos and journal entries of my plein air watercolor painting experiences. Lots of stories in the field through all seasons and all sorts of weather here in Vermont beyond. Hoping to get caught up to share more recent paintings.

If you have interest in viewing or purchasing my paintings, please email or call me. I plan to add a gallery section to this site soon to make it easier for you to see the many paintings I have available for sale.

Thank you!

Libby Davidson

libby@starflowerstudio.com