Friday, January 15, 2016

011416 12x12 Splish Splosh, Snow Melting in the Forest, Plein Air Oil Painting

"Splish Splosh, January 14, 2016", oil on panel, 12" x12", c. Charlene Marsh, Code #011416 12x12.
This is the same scene I painted two days ago and what a difference two days make!  This painting was a real challenge to paint!  Okay, I admit it, downright frustrating.  "Frozen Beauty" from January 12, 2016 was a challenge due to the bitter cold but the frustration trying to paint this painting was something else!   Frankly, I'm surprised it turned out as well as it did!  

I was so excited to get out and paint.  The day was one with the brilliant blue sky, warming temperatures, and snow on the ground, albeit melting.  So I packed up my gear and headed out to the forest around 12:30 p.m.  I waited long enough for the sun to be high in the sky and the temps going up to the mid-40s - it even felt downright balmy at times.  In retrospect, I should have waited another 2-3 hours to go out.  

I found out real fast that the snow, which had been thick on all the branches, was melting quickly.  And as it melted, the chunks of snow would fall onto my palette, pochade, painting, and me in big, wet sploshes.  And, as we all know, oil and water do not mix!  I was painting in a storm of rain snow drops!  What a mess!  What a challenge!  My palette was turning into a wet water oil non-mix. 

I tried to dab at the water drops with a paper towel to try to absorb a bit of it but the water was winning and turning my parchment paper palette into a big mess.  Even so, the snow crystals had some interesting effects on the paint and how it mixed.  

But the most frustrating was when I tried to apply paint to the panel with the knife and found it would not stick!  I would drag my knife and paint across the panel and find that nothing was there!  Grrrrr...  If the panel was wet with the water, the oil paint just wouldn't stick to it!  So then I was drying the panel as best I could with my paper towels.  

I have an umbrella but it is not too good.  The handle is too short and the clamp is too funky.  So I never carry it.  EasyL has developed a new umbrella design that looks very good and has good reviews.  I have resisted buying it because I am not sure I want to add any weight to my pack -- I have been working to pare it down!  But I may go ahead and get it because it is too limiting to not be able to go out and paint if the weather threatens any moisture.  

Today was steady rain and/or drizzle all day but it was so gorgeous out!  Remnants of the snow with some fog down by the creek and temps still warm in the forties.  I was itching to paint but knew the light drizzle would make it nearly impossible.  Soooo....time to order that umbrella!

The melting snow drops definitely had an affect on the paint which reflected the water and snow crystals in the final surface.  In my book, that adds to the authenticity of the final painting imbued with the essence of nature on that given day.  Here's the finished painting:

"Splish Splosh, January 14, 2016", oil on panel, 12" x12", c. Charlene Marsh, Code #011416 12x12.

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Happy Trails!


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