|Kurt Plinke, Artist and Naturalist
Between the Waters
life, Art and The Nature of things Between the Atlantic and the Chesapeake
ABOUT THE COMING OF WINTER, PAINTING IN A CHILL WIND, THIS MONTH'S PAINTING OF THE MONTH, AND UPCOMING EVENTS AT SEWELL MILLS STUDIO & GALLERY
First of all, be sure to check the Shows and Workshops page for a new January watercolor workshop scheduled at the studio for January 28th. We'll be painting an early winter watercolor landscape. Should lots of fun, so sign up early.
December is here, as of this morning, on the Eastern Shore. Yesterday it rained all day and was almost seventy degrees. Fog hung near the ground all morning, and it felt more like early Spring than the closing of days of Fall. And earlier in the week, before the rain started, the sunrise... you should have seen the sunrise. Gorgeous oranges, pinks, and violets. Even then, ground fog from the warm field soil lay at woods edges, a glimmering dividing line between earth and air.
But this morning was different. No wisps of fog, no brilliantly colored sky, no clouds or rain. The cold in the morning air made my lungs hurt, and the still-moist soil from yesterday's warm rains has turned to a chilly dampness that just says to anyone listening that Winter is coming, and coming soon. The nearly cloudless sky echoed the message, looking like a horizon-to-horizon overhead ice rink. John Snow would start fingering the pommel of Longclaw if he were to look upon the scene. I'd almost be willing to bet we have snow by Christmas.
I wouldn't mind an early snow. Winter watercolors are fun to paint, and often result in some of my favorite paintings. That said, I don't like painting outside during really cold weather. My paints freeze, my fingers freeeze and my glasses frost up. Standing in snow for three or four hours as a painting takes shape winds up with some pretty cold feet. A lot of mid-Winter plein air paintings wind up being completed looking out of my car window, just to keep paints above the freezing point and toes from frostbite danger.
So for now with colder weather only beginning to set in, paints are only cold, fingers can still wiggle, and I can still see through my glasses. Pretty sure you'll find me working on some sunrise paintings this weekend, with only marginally cold feet, and fairly cold paint.
I'm starting a new feature on my website and in the gallery. Each month I'm offering up a single original watercolor at a special reduced price, as a first-come, first-served "Painting of the Month." This month, the painting that needs a home is one of my favorites, "AFTER THANKSGIVING," painted in burnt colors of pumpkin, tints of pale melting snow and earthy browns. Just click on the painting to the left for details on how to claim this painting before anyone else gets it first.
Beyond snow and cold, beyond a good deal on a favorite painting, there is a January watercolor workshop at the studio. This one should be especially good. Everyone will paint a different early Winter landscape involoving bare trees and a field edge and barns. Contrast, perspective and pattern will be the forward elements and concepts as we develop a well-composed landscape with a feeling of coming snow. It should be fun, better sign up early.
Kurt Plinke: About Life, Art and the Nature of Things on the Eastern Shore
I write about things I've noticed, places I've been, plans I've made and paintings I've finished or am thinking about.
See recent naturalist observations I have posted on iNaturalist: