Monday, December 9, 2013

Deep Snow in Yellowwood Forest, December 7, 2013, oil on panel, 16" x 12", c. Charlene Marsh

Hard to believe almost a month has gone by since I last blogged.  Time sure flies!

We got slammed with 8" - 10" of snow last Thursday evening through Friday evening and I've been digging out ever since.  I worked on digging out the cargo van this morning.  Saturday, the sun came out and I desperately wanted to go out in the woods to paint.  I just love those sunny, snowy paintings!  The snow and shadows reflect the blue sky and I love the opportunity to work with all the shades of blue, turquoise, teals, periwinkles, and shale blues and greens.  

BUT, I had a big problem.  My good hiking boots that cost $250 fell apart this fall after only a couple years of use.  I have been looking locally for another pair and finding nothing.  Seems no one carries waterproof women's hiking boots and, if they do, they don't have my size 6.  I really didn't want to order another $250 pair of boots if they are only going to last two years.  

So....Saturday morning, with knee high snow on the ground, all I had were my rubber barn muck boots that I had worn out into the woods the evening before and nearly froze my feet off.  I had to crawl up the hills on all fours to keep from sliding back down with every step.  I also had a pair of low top waterproof hikers I wear in my booth at shows when it is rainy out but they would do nothing to protect from the snow. 

After the local highway trucks came through and plowed and sanded on Saturday, I went into Nashville to the local hardware store, Bears, which I absolutely love.  They always have 3-4-5 "good 'ole boys" waiting to help you and solve any problem you may have.  They taught me how to install an electric fence and have found hardware to solve problems from chicken scratch drawings I bring them.  I knew they had a section of outdoor clothing and since a woman is part (maybe full) owner of the store, they actually carry OUTDOOR CLOTHING FOR WOMEN!  I have found other outdoor gear there when I couldn't find it anywhere else.  

Indeed, they had a full selection of boots for both men and women.  Scanning the selections, my eyes fell on a pair of royal blue(my favorite color) and black boots described as "Arctic Extreme Conditions Sport Boot" by Muck Boots in my size six!  They are knee high, insulated boots with a very thick sole made for walking and working in the snow.  I took them to the check out counter and asked the young lady at the register if they had gotten good reviews and she said, "Everyone around here wears them".  So I bought them, took them home and immediately put them to the test.

The afternoon was already getting later than I would have liked but I was determined to get out to paint.  I must say, I am absolutely thrilled with these boots!  In the past, I would use toe warmers in my hiking boots and my feet would still be freezing cold while I worked on the paintings.  Not just my toes but my nose and fingers were absolutely freezing.  I couldn't wait to pack up and get moving.  But with these boots(and the toe warmers), my feet were perfectly comfortable the entire time!  And I noticed I was comfortable over all.  Even my nose and fingers.  The boots seem to keep the body core warmer.  

 So I am looking forward to a very creative and productive season this winter painting the lovely snow and creek in the forest!  I have posted the painting I did on Saturday at the top of this post.

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