Sunday, January 10, 2010

2nd Annual Radnor Lake Plein Air Freeze Out







Last year, Dawn Whitelaw, Erin Jones and myself painted at Radnor Lake on a morning when the temperatures were in the low single digits. I think it is still a record for me. This year we did it again although the temps were not quite as low as last year and Dawn wasn't there. Just me and Erin and somewhere in the teens. But, it did snow and there seemed to be more ice on the pond this year. It was absolutely gorgeous. No matter how hard you may wish it, it will never snow in the studio.
The photos above are Erin and myself at the lake, the piece I did and the piece Erin did. Her's was in the beginning stages when I photographed it but I thought it was a wonderfully done painting. Nice values and a great composition. The other piece of the Beech trees is one I did last week right before the cold snap when the wind was howling so I did a painting in the interior of the woods way down in a hollow to try and get out of some of the wind. I don't do many "interior"paintings because they are very hard to do. Lot's of drawing and the masses are less defined because there are so many bits and pieces in the woods. Compositional nightmares.
Unfortunately here in Middle Tennessee we don't get enough snow to actually study it and paint it on a regular basis so when I paint snow it is less from experience and a knowledge of how it should appear in any given situation and more on trying to paint what my eyes tell me I am seeing. If you want to see some painters who have studied it and been exposed check out Clyde Aspevig, Matt Smith, Skip Whitcomb and Marc Hansen. Clyde Aspevig has a couple of ice paintings on his web site right now that when I have them up on my Macbook I have to go cut the thermostat up because the temperature in the house drops 10 degrees.

11 comments:

C. Ousley said...

Good to see you out there yesterday. I got some good exercise after you left on the trails. I liked your secret technique of dropping the painting face down in the snow for added realism. Bold and Innovative! Or maybe it was just an accident... The painting looks great. It will sell at the next Radnor show if not before. I always dig those cedars making their appearances in landscapes.
I was shamed and went back today with my sketchbook with the afternoon sun out.

Gary Brookins said...

WOW! . . . For someone who only occasionally gets to paint snow "from life" you sure captured it! Truly a Winter Wonderland!

Dawn said...

Kevin,
Sorry I missed out. Beautiful painting!

Kevin Menck said...

Ouser-And shamed you should be. If you want, next year we will give you a call and you can freeze out with us.

Gary-Thanks! Have you had a chance to paint the snow yet?

Dawn- You would have done fine being a seasoned pro. It wasn't near as cold as it was last time.

Gary Brookins said...

Haven't gone out in the snow, yet. When we got 15 inches in Central Virginia last month, I was in Florida! By the time I got back several days later, It had thawed, refrozen, thawed, refrozen, and gotten kinda dirty looking. Not the fresh, pristine stuff you got to paint. But the Winter isn't over . . . maybe I'll get another chance.

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Erin said...

ha ha! that was a good time. I've never seen ice like that at Radnor before. It was like a whole different part of the continent.

Shirley said...

Your birch tree painting is beautiful. I was just watching my patch of woods fill up with snow and thinking how challenging it would be to paint. You did a great job.

Bitsy said...

Kevin, you and Erin really impress me! I'm jealous and getting ready to announce an outing for PAN on Sunday. We'll see who else is crazy enough to show. Bitsy

Kevin Menck said...

Shirley - Yeah, I agree. I think woods with snow would be horrendously complicated but oh, how much fun.

Bitsy - All you have to do is e-mail. Anytime, anywhere,

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