Winter painting in Wales
Winter Painting is right up my street, the outdoors and snow sports combined, so if there is an opportunity to go for a hike or a ski with my painting equipment in my backpack I’m there. These particular winter painting days came as a bonus though, with no travel needed it snowed right here on my doorstep!
Preparation is Key:
I recently bought myself some Sorel expedition boots in preparation for a winter painting trip in the Swiss mountains this January and they have been sat in the house being idol until now. So I was pretty excited when had a good dump of snow forecast in Wales! This kind of weather only occurs here about every 6 years or thereabouts, so having heard the forecast I packed my ‘plein air’ painting gear the night before and set the alarm ready for an early rise.
The early bird….
When I awoke it was still dark but I could see the snow, and there was a lot of it! I filled my flask with hot tea, grabbed my backpack loaded with easel, canvas etc and went outside. On the road it came up to just below my knees. Having prepared for a good hike I started off up the road. The view was just breathtaking, the usual lane to the home, winding through landscape toward Montgomery had transformed and I didn’t need to go any further than that. I set up there and began painting.
First thing to report is that the boots work a treat. If, like myself you get cold feet and need to stand around in the snow I can fully recommend them. My feet were still warm after standing there for 2 hours!
They call this a ‘bluebird’ day in the mountains. Blue skies after a large snowfall during the night. It’s quite something. I wasn’t hanging around so after the light had changed I walked back to the house, swapped my canvas (actually I took 2) and set off to look for the next spot. Paddy the dog came with me too, and seemed pretty excited until he realised I was painting, then promptly took himself off for a walk while I continued.
Today I was lucky, they had forecast cloud and even rain. But it stayed dry with sunny spells, Phew! So I went back out to finish off the paintings I had started the day before. Quite often, when I think my time is limited, I’ll put a suggestion of colour for an area. (eg. the sky where it touches the horizon) I’ll leave the rest to fill in back at the studio. Time is precious on days like these. So, with yesterday’s light in mind and committed to memory I set out to change any shapes and try to continue painting the areas without snow. In this case that wasn’t a lot, but I was able to get them both finished using the shapes of the landscape and the colours from the day before.
Below the gallery shows the two finished landscapes on the easel so you can get an idea for the size.
For the image alone please see the gallery