Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blackwater, 16 x 20, oil on linen

Last week we had a brief period of sunshine here in Pittsburgh. Even if I'm working inside on a commission, like I was, it is impossible for me to stay there. Light on snow just has that effect on my senses. A favorite place to paint winter landscapes is Fox Chapel. This was done by Trillium Trail. The real challenge is painting the shifting shadows over ice that is melting. Add the chilling 15 or 20 degree temperature and it is easy to understand why most artists prefer to work inside using photos as reference. But for me there is a special feeling of accomplishment that working outdoors brings. It is difficult to explain. The spirit of a place somehow becomes part of the painting. Even if I'm not satisfied with the finished painting, I'm always pleased with the experience. Time spent looking closely at nature is never wasted.