Painting Outdoors in January

Painting outdoors in January with snow on the ground near freezing temperatures can be a bit challenging. I admit I don’t go outside when the temperature dips below zero. It is just too cold for me. A friend of mine I sometimes go out to paint with can do -10° Celsius, for which I admire him.

Here is what the late Canadian painter Robert Lougheed wrote back in the old days when he still was a young man painting outdoors in Canadian winter:

“It was a beautiful, crisp Canadian winter’s day… too cold for clouds and a sky celestial blue with not a hint of red in the atmosphere. This is a kind of day when men working outdoors can freeze a nose and cheeks without knowing it.

Too cold for the horses today, Mr. Kerr said, so I walked off down the hill to set up my sketch box in a valley among tall spruce trees laden with snow from a storm the week before. Nothing is as beautiful in the whole world as a snow-covered landscape in the north country. All day long as I painted a lone chickadee kept me company with his chatter as he flitted around from tree to tree.

I finished two 12×16  inch paintings that day and returned to the farmhouse. Mr. Kerr, who had sat by the stove all day, told me that the temperature was thirty below zero outside. But the next day, it warmed up to seventeen below and he hitched up horses for me. (From the book  ‘Robert Lougheed, Follow The Sun’).”

May the sun shine on you every day.

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