Day 24 #stradaeasel

Three+ weeks completed and one to go. As much focus and energy as this takes, I’m enjoying the challenge. I’m enjoying that my primary goal every day is to create a painting. It’s what I plan for every morning and my whole day revolves around it. Even when I’m not motivated, once I start painting I fall into the “zone.” It’s a happy place to be especially when I’m outdoors.

Today I went up the hill behind our house to paint Hunger Creek. I knew it would be buried in snow. I’ve painted this view before and the background forest is always a challenge. I feel that I captured the essence of the place better than I have previously. Progress!

The color palette is fairly monochromatic. The overcast sky never cleared enough to allow any sunshine to dapple the snow as I’d hoped. I like how the slanted log in the background breaks up the overall vertical aspect of the painting. I think I captured pretty well the icy reflection in the creek.

As I was setting up, an easel screw fell out and down into the snow it went. OMG! Without the part, I couldn’t sit my pastel box on the easel. I dug into the snow, throwing handfuls into the creek. I got all the way down to dirt and still no part. Uh oh, did I throw it into the creek with the snow? It was a shiny brass part and I could see it under the water. Luckily, the creek wasn’t deep and I was able to pluck it out. Close one!

Plein air painting, especially in the snow, is not for sissies!

The scene with the chaotic forest background. I’ve started the rough block-in of the elements: background forest, foreground trees, creek, and snow banks.


My set up with the completed painting. By now, my toes are just about frozen. Standing on snow compacts it and turns it into a block of ice. I used the spring box lid as my tabletop and tried to keep most of the stuff out of the snow. What is the broom doing there? Our pump house is just above the creek where we keep the broom. I used it as a hiking pole in case I slipped.