When The Sun Doesn't Shine...
What do you do when the sun doesn't shine?
Anyone living in my part of the country, has had nothing to see outside lately but grey skies, wind and rain.
We all enjoy those perfect days when the sun is shining; the clouds are interesting and the wind is low. Even a few bugs won't ruin the mood for painting en plein-air. It is when the conditions are less than perfect that our true devotion to plein-air painting is put to the test. I have painted in the range of weather, from minus 30º winters, to sweltering 95º heat and humidity, but the greatest challenge is when we are faced with wind and rain.
A few years ago, I was out painting on a hill overlooking Smoke Lake, Ontario, with my friends and fellow painters Bob Amirault and Jamie McGill. They had set up their easels above me on the hill. Bob was just starting to paint when a sudden snow squall hit. All I heard was the high winds and a crashing sounds of branches behind me as the storm descended.
Here is Bob, snow flecked but painting on, after the squall passed.
The snow pellets from the squall covering my palette.
Me, painting quickly, in a small shelter I found over Oxtongue Lake.
It took us a while to clean up the mess, so we decided to go for lunch and hope that the weather improved. The weather did not improve t much, but I did find a small shelter above the lake that provided enough cover from the rain to allow me to produce a small painting.
"A Break in the Weather" - 12" x 16" - Oil on Panel
It is not a colourful sunny painting but I was pleased to be able to capture the mood of that part of the day. It was windy, cold and rainy but the clouds started to open up and the Sun was threatening to break through at any time.
We should measure the success of a painting on whether or not we captured the 'Mood" of that time rather than producing a pretty painting.
Keep those brushes clean and ready to go!
Quote of the week:
"Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing."