Monday, January 17, 2011

Painting Snow

January Snow 24x30 Oil on board ©2011 DotCourson
We recently had a rare snow in north Mississippi. We got 8 inches of snow on January 2nd and it is still outside on my back yard in the shaded areas today! I just got back from teaching/demo a snow scene. (in studio) I'm no expert on snow, but DO know when to bring in the experts. So I brought in a few books: The Landscapes - Richard Schmid's new book, Soviet Impressionist Painting, and a Paul Strisik landscape book. Variety. I painted from an image of the woodsy road/trail near my house.
We'd decided to paint snow pictures in class. We missed one class the day after it snowed, and I did not call everyone to cancel class. They are all adults... and of course I new no one would risk it to come to class in Tupelo. So I just decided to send all my students a "spoof" email about painting en plein air. Here is what it said:  

Hello everyone!

Due to the snow  and ice I want us to do a little something different when we meet back on Monday to begin our new year!

Please wear layers of extra clothes, hats, scarves and boots and bring your outside easels. I've never had the opportunity to do plein air in the snow and I'll bet you haven't either! ....It'll be fun for us all and a rare opportunity! I'm going to cut the fingers out of some old gloves to wear to keep my fingertips free. That new Under Armor long underwear I got for Christmas last year will come in handy and I advise you wearing some if you have it! Just a note: you may want to nail a nail into the bottom of the tips of the legs of your easels to keep them form skidding on the ice as you paint. Also, you may want to throw some old boards in the car to set the legs on if the snow is deep to keep the easel legs form sinking into the snow if we get a lot of snow.

Please make sure your gas tank is full and cell phones charged, with water and some snack bars (in case you're stranded in the snow!) and that you take extra caution driving to Juanita's as snow plows won't be everywhere and there is probably thick ice on the bridges. Don't wear tight boots as when you're standing on ice it only makes your feet colder. Also, keep paints inside your car by the heater on your way so they will not be thick and gummy at first. Prepare to paint thick as paint gets very hard and not as viscous in the cold as wind chills are going to be in the low teens! Burrrrrrr!!!!

Love you - and I'll see you ALL tomorrow!


Some got it - and I got some strong responses from others! Oh well!