Plein air painting in the snow

There's a first time for everything. I actually got outside this morning in the freezing temperatures and painted in the snow. I know, I know. It's done all the time. But I'm from the South, so doing anything....willingly...in frigid temperatures is a real milestone for me. And any way, I can't remember the last time we had a snow storm with any kind of accumulation, so I was determined:

"Snowed Under" 10x8" Oil on Multimedia ArtBoard ©Jennifer Young

"Snowed Under" 10x8" Oil on Multimedia ArtBoard ©Jennifer Young

This is our little crepe myrtle in our back yard. A small, up-close study was about all I could handle this morning. Even staying close to home, this was a challenging experience for me. First off, I didn't consider just how reflective all that snow would be. Initially I set up near my red studio door, but that red bounced all over the place so I had to move. Second, I wasn't prepared for how stiff the paint would get, or how quickly. My quinacridone red froze up so fast--I had to really coax it with some Gamsol just to get it to budge. And third (and I WAS expecting this one) it was damn cold. I did take a few studio breaks because my right hand (the painting hand) became one big painful throb and revolted periodically by losing its grip and dropping brushes.

Any way, I got it done in a little less than 2 hours. I can't say that I'm a convert to painting in freezing weather, but at least I like the little painting. I did find myself wondering why the heck I didn't just paint something from the warmth of my studio, looking out the window. But no.  I HAD to paint that tree from that angle. Well, maybe it's a good thing. As I'm typing this during my lunchtime break, huge chunks of the white stuff are falling off of our little crepe in mini avalanches.