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 I froze my @#* for THIS?

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acadianartist



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Join date : 2009-11-23
Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:56 pm

Ok, so it's not that bad. I think. Ask me again in two weeks, I can never tell right away. Or better yet, you tell me.

As promised to Janet, I post this for your amusement. Over the holidays I went out plein air painting with a good friend. We often paint together (well, not as often as we'd like, but that's another story) and go on painting trips together once a year. It was -16 Celcius when we left my house, but that quickly warmed up to -11 or so (12 F). But it was sunny and we were off work and we decided to be brave. Bundled up so we were nice and toasty, we drove around until we found something we wanted to paint. There is a little stream just down the road from my house straddled by an old stone bridge and though I don't normally do much architectural stuff, it was hard to resist. Ok, the nicely plowed flat surface with a perfect view of the bridge was hard to resist. It was either that or stand in a snowbank.

We went at it for about an hour and a half. Not sure, I lost track of time. The sun had disappeared and my white was like solidifying plaster! Do NOT try to paint outside in cold temperatures using lead white. So we decided to call it a day.

Here's a picture of my friend painting the bridge (with her permission of course):



Quite honestly, we both felt that it was a very pleasant day and did not feel the cold. The key is to have proper clothing with many, many layers! Avoid cotton, go for the wool. Full thermal underwear. And boots rated for extreme cold are imperative of course. Snowmobilers boots are the best. Glove-mitts help keep your fingers warm as you can close the flap once in a while to warm up, and a good hat is the finishing touch. Fashion is out the window in these circumstances! I'm sure the locals were getting a good laugh at our expense.

So here is the result of my plein air work. All I could do is get the basic shapes down, though the bridge is mostly there. The white was too thick to work with. My weakness is water, as I don't get to do much of it, and in this case, there was water, snow, ice, and that ice that is just under the water in spots.



Here is the piece as of tonight, an 11 x 14 on masonite panel. I am not promising I won't touch it up. Anything bother you about the painting? I don't think it was wise to put the bridge right across the top like that, it rather cuts the painting in two. Please feel free to point out any improvements. And thanks for reading!

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judyfilarecki
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:11 pm

I think having the bridge nearer the top was a good choice, because the snow and water meandering from side to side is the most interesting part. For not having much experience with water, I think you did a great job.

One question, when I took anatomy in school, I don't remember any part called the @#*. By the way, have you looked in you mail box lately.There is a forum newsletter waiting for you there if you haven't opened it yet.

Judy

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Callie
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:21 pm

It's amazing that you can stay warm enough to paint that well! The bridge is very well done, and I like the way it divides the painting - calm and cool above, movement and drama below. The yellow highlights on the snow give a hint of sun coming through the overcast sky. Great colors in this, especially the greys.

Have you noticed a difference between ws and traditional oils when painting in extreme cold? (If you've used trad. oils that is...)
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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:31 am

I'm amazed how much you got in during your short session. I like the height you put the bridge too, because the river the important part of your painting, not the skyline. I love all the scrubby twigs growing up out of the snow. I wish I could see the entire pic on my monitor, so that I can really get the overall effect. My only suggestion would be to do something to the tree to make it look less like it's growing out of the bridge and more like it's coming up from behind it - maybe add some lower branches. Nice colours - I think this is a keeper!
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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:31 am

Thank you Chantal for sharing your wonderful painting! I love the bridge! You obviously have no problem with man-made elements as well as natural elements. I like where the bridge is placed. The water looks fantatic! As Sofie already pointed out the only thing I see that could use some adjusting is the tree that doesn't look like it's behind the bridge but on it.

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acadianartist



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Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:24 am

Judy and Callie, thanks for your kind comments! Judy, I will check my mailbox.

Callie, I have never used traditional oils in cold weather, but am planning on trying them. I've played around with ways to keep my paint warm, using hand warmers under my palette, but the hand warmers didn't stay warm exposed to the frigid air like that. I pre-mixed my palette indoors before going out in the hopes that it would save time (I just mixed a big pile of white with some cerulean blue, some ultramarine blue and a bit of burnt umber which would be my base for all the snow colours - just add more blue or alizarin crimson for darker snow). Some whites would work better, this one contained lead and I was told that any paint containing lead does not do well in the cold.

Sofie and Janet, thanks for pointing out that tree! The exact same thing occurred to me as I was tweaking it last night - that tree looks like it's growing out of the bridge! That's actually how it looks IRL, but a painting instructor once told me, just cause that's what it looked like, doesn't mean you have to paint it that way. If something in nature looks odd and you paint it that way, it might look contrived or just wrong. The viewer will assume you made the mistake, not nature! I'm going to see if I can add some lower limbs to push the tree to the other side of that bridge now. I just wanted to see if anyone else would pick up on it.
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acadianartist



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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:39 am

You should be able to see it all on your monitor now Callie.

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Janet
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:17 am

"just cause that's what it looked like, doesn't mean you have to paint it that way"

Good point Chantal I just remembered a painting that's a perfect example of that but has many other issues. One for Down the Drain. Smile

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Sofie
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:30 pm

Thanks for posting the smaller image, Chantal. It really helps to see it all in one go. I really like the depth you've created as the river flows down under the bridge. Who said you're no good at water??????? I think it's great.
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acadianartist



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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:41 pm

Thanks Sofie! You're very kind.
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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:17 am

Cool painting Chantal (no pun intended). Smile
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acadianartist



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Location Location : Just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick

PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:34 am

Couldn't resist could you Tommy? Wink

I'll post a couple more "cool" ones shortly...
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Dale

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PostSubject: Re: I froze my @#* for THIS?   Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:24 am

I like this composition and the shadow under the bridge is nicely done. Great job!
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