Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sundown at Uffington

 Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches

I went out to paint one afternoon at 4pm, determined to get a little en plein air piece done/half-done, and here's the result...half-done, in an hour-and-a-quarter. I was surprisingly warm, despite a howling gale blowing behind me, but with my padded old painting coat which Jane loves (haha!), overtrousers, scalf and Muckboots (unbelievably warm for the feet), it was all fine, except that...I didn't have my specs with me, durgh! Having set up, I was not going to let a tiny thing like being unable to see the board in front of me stop me, oh no! It was super-challenging with the sun moving incredibly quickly straight ahead of me, and chasing the light (doubly blinding) isn't a good idea. I persevered, and these two pics are one hour apart, and you can see how much the light changed and moved as the sun went down. The painting looked awful when I got home and finally put my glasses on, but I managed to rescue it with the aid of a couple of photos. Great experience though, nonetheless, out in the raw, and when clearing up, unable to wear gloves, frostbite soon set-in the fingers with temperatures around -7, but a simple swipe with a sharp knife soon got rid of all four fingers and I'm as right as rain now

Nature Notes

Nature Notes:I had a walk alongside the river after the heavy snowfall a couple of weeks ago, and within a couple of hundred yards, startled a Brown Hare just six feet from me, near the bank, and as it shot off like a...Hare...I just managed to get a snap of it before it was a hundred yards away as fast as a Ferrari would have got there. Second pic shows its 'form', the term for a Hare's resting place, quite cosy beneath a covering of vegetation and snow, a nice little igloo, before yours truly disturbed him.
Spot the Swans in the next pic - can you see them, just before they slipped into the water? So well camouflaged - surely they evolved from Arctic regions and haven't caught up yet with green!

These next three pics show a Grey heron after it had seen me before I it. I love the way the long neck acts like an independant counter-weight, moving backwards and forwards as the rest of the body gains momentum.

It was really hard-going, walkng a couple of miles through thick snow - up to the top of the wellies, and over, as you can see here:
Some of the snow had a hard crust on it and I could walk ON it, but every few steps the boot would sink down 18 inches, as you can see in this next photo, and I was exhausted at the end. I did also attempt to cross over the river in the shallows....but not quite shallow enough...yes, you guessed it, a bootful of icey water later, I had an even more uncomfortable track back to the car.
This last pic shows the Winterwonderland view from the house looking down to my studio before my outside light went off, as the snow continued to fall - just love that long shadow of the Oak tree!

Three more 6 x 8s!

 A Corner of the Welland

A little oil from a recent trip to my river. Grey day, but the snow looks so white when it's overcast like this.

 Bank Drift

This one was all about that amazingly sculpted snow drift on the opposite bank. There were so many such drifts on the roadsides around here, but I've never seen snow drifts like this on a riverbank - just beautiful!

Snow by the Welland

Here's the last of my subdued snow paintings, well, not subdued paintings - they were all completed with slashing gusto, obviously...🙄🤔 The lighting was subdued, making the snow appear very white. I do love the subtle colours of Winter, without the flashy greens of summer, and in this one there were maroons, browns, greens, ochres and blues, as well as the obvious white.

Glint of Sunlight


Here are a few stage photos showing the painting evolving to the finished article, which I know some folks like to see. The painting is only a little one, at 6 x 8 inches.