Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 6, 2014

It was a warmer start today... -9ºF.  The high today... a raging +4ºF!!!

After yesterday and spending the day in the van, I said... "Screw it... I may not get another chance this winter to paint in this frigid weather... I'm painting in the 'open air'!"  I am getting acclimated to these temps now.  But, I'm not an idiot, so I put on layers of extreme cold weather clothing.  Being an outdoor guy from Minnesota, I could cover every square cm of my skin, head to toe, with at least 4" of insulated garb if I needed to.  Today I wore my LaCrosse -120ºF boots, and was toasty warm.  I did stick a hand warmer under my outer sock in each foot.  I felt tropical all day long.

And an absolutely stunning day it was!  There was so much color, from sun up to sun down, that I wish I could paint about a dozen studies a day to try to grab some of it.

When I paint in these kind of temperatures, the oil in the paint gets stiff of course, just like the motor oil in your car engine.  There are a couple of things I do to make it possible to move the paint around at these temps.  First, I make use of a non oil medium, like Liquin, or a thin oil medium, like Winsor & Newton's 'Drying Linseed Oil'.  Both of these have a nice fluidity, even when it's this cold.  Secondly, I make liberal use of smallish sized palette knives.  I may apply most of the paint in the painting with a knife, scrape it back down, manipulate that with a brush... what ever works.  With those two methods, and using OMS as needed to thin the paint, it's really not a big deal.

I was lucky today, NO WIND.  If the wind were strong, my tune would be sounding different.  Tomorrow... +38º!!!  I can't wait, and am very glad I painted the special qualities of light and color, that the frigid atmosphere presents.

My coyote buddies were back around the hood again today.  One coyote a quarter mile out in the middle of a flat, snow covered field, looking small and wandering around, looking for a mouse most likely, is a lonely sight.  I also had a great experience today.  Not far from where I live, there are about 250 elk who've made their way out of the higher altitudes to lay in the sun and lounge all day in safety.  They're a little far off of the road, but it's an impressive sight.

Thanks for looking in...

2-6-1 "Nine Below" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

2-6-2 "Ridgeline" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014
SOLD

2-6-3 "Oxford Rd Farm" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014
SOLD

2-6-4 "39th St View" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

8 comments:

Debbie said...

These are awesome Marc! Love your beautiful grays and atmosphere. So great hearing about your day and love all your tips for painting outside in cold temps. I will be retired next year and am hoping to paint outside in the winter a bit--on warmer days of course! You are so brave! Looking forward to your next creations. You are such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work and amazing dedication on your part. What do you add to your oil paints on the palette to keep them pliable in such cold temperatures?

Nyle Gordon said...

Fantastic work today Marc!

Nyle Gordon said...

Fantastic work today Marc! Doing some painting myself outside these cold days in north Missouri.
Told my wife you inspired me to brave the temps!
Nyle

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you everyone! Believe me, each day takes some personal cheering on to get out there when it's so cold! As painters you know, once your eyes see what's in store to paint, the cold and discomfort are mitigated by the desire to try to capture the inspiration in nature. These cold temps, and the snow, have been inspirational. The falling snow, WIND, not so much fun. But it's worth it all.

Read this post for an explanation on how I keep the paints workable outside. I just wrote it up. :)

Marc R. Hanson said...

Thank you everyone! Believe me, each day takes some personal cheering on to get out there when it's so cold! As painters you know, once your eyes see what's in store to paint, the cold and discomfort are mitigated by the desire to try to capture the inspiration in nature. These cold temps, and the snow, have been inspirational. The falling snow, WIND, not so much fun. But it's worth it all.

Read this post for an explanation on how I keep the paints workable outside. I just wrote it up. :)

Jane Hunt said...

Really wonderful works Marc - you really captured the feeling of 'cold' in each one!

Unknown said...

Extraordinary body of work. Very inspirational