Monday, April 6, 2020

February 2020: Field Notes

The month of February began with sunshine, and a goal to get out into it as much as I could. 
February 1, 2020, 12 x 9" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/1: The sunshine, though brief, was extra welcome after a particularly cloudy January, and it was good to get out to the woods and paint. The early afternoon light shone on a wild apple tree, and the sun cast blue shadows across the deep snow.
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February 2, 2020, 10 x 7" plein air oil on linen/birch.

2/2: A birch tree in the woods. The sun sank behind thin clouds to the west, softening the contrasts and colors of the evening landscape.
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February 4, 2020, 7 x 5" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/4: Trying to escape the bite of the north wind, I found myself returning to the shelter of the orchard. As usual, the deer had made themselves at home there, and the snow around the trees was crisscrossed with their tracks.
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February 5,8, 10 x 12" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/5 (and 2/8): Further snow-study. I loved the strong blue that seemed to envelop the snow- and tree-covered slope in shadow, while the soft evening sunlight lingered on the stones and oak tree that occupy the corner of the hillside pasture. It was a bit more than I could manage in the short time I had before the sun set, and I returned to the same place a few days later to wrestle with it a little longer.
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February 6, 2020, 10 x 8" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/6: Golden light, the moon rising over the old oak tree, and the shadow of the hill slowly climbing as the sun sets.
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February 8, 2020, 5 x 7" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/8: Small, cold, color studies, as the sun set and the full moon rose above the tree tops.

February 8, 2020, 7 x 5" plein air oil on linen/birch.
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February 11, 2020, 10 x 7" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/11: On a west-facing hillside, facing the sun. Hickory and oak trees, blue shadows, 
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February 15, 2020, 8 x 6" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/15: The sun setting behind me gave so much color to the snow and the tangle of vines at the base of these trees.
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February 17, 2020, 7 x 10" plein air oil on linen/birch. Sold.
2/17: Painting in the field, watching approaching snow showers, the afternoon sun occasionally visible through the clouds.
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February 22, 2020, 11 x 14" oil on linen/hardboard.
2/22: I received a box of lemons from California in the mail and they were too pretty not to paint, their bright yellow next to the blue-tint of an old canning jar from my Grandma's kitchen.

February 22, 2020, 6 x 8" oil on linen.
And one more quick study, just for fun.
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February 24, 2020, 9 x 12" plein air oil on linen/birch.
2/24: A layer of thin clouds made for subtle light and color at dusk. Snow and scrappy trees.
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February 29, 2020, 14 x 11" plein air oil on linen/hardboard.
2/29: Leap-day painting. The day had been a persistent grey, and I began my painting with a plan to focus on the dark water and soft color shifts of a cloudy day. I had just sketched out the rough shapes of the scene when I looked up to see blue sky, and the last trace of cloud quickly disappearing. My footprints in the snow caught bright sunlight, and the creek changed from slate to deep blue.
My grey-day painting was ruined, but I can't say it was a complete loss. :)
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