Actually, although this is the 13th in my Winter series, there are only 12 paintings. I painted over two of my initial mini 6×6 paintings which I decided I didn’t like enough to keep. One I painted over, got confused with the numbering ( initially calling two different paintings each Winter 9) and then called it Winter 9B (to differentiate it from Winter 9). Are you confused too? It’s enough to know: my Winter series continues.
Even though there is no snow outside my window, my memories of snowy winters from my childhood in Canada continue to inspire me. And painting with a palette knife somehow makes it easier. No need to fuss over the details.
It was below freezing this morning; there is no water and no heat in my apartment building (they’re replacing some pipes). Brrr. It’s cold. So, of course, I’m still painting winter scenes.
An earlier Winter painting had some intractible problems that were too complicated to fix (this is only a 6×6 canvas, afterall). So I painted over it. This is really just winter colors … too abstracted to look like anything specific. But painting with a palette knife is a joy. No pressure to perform, just the fun of seeing what happens when I do … this.
Well, I won’t be able to paint winter landscapes when we’re in the middle of spring and it’s hot outside. So I’m kinda happy that we’ve got more wintry weather coming. Because, for some reason, I’m still in a wintry mood.
So my winter series continues, albeit with slightly larger canvases: 10×10. That’s still pretty small as paintings go, but it’s a good size for me to continue my experiment painting winter (snowy) scenes with a palette knife on gessoed canvases. I’ve now painted 12, if you count the ones I’ve painted over. So far I’ve painted over two, because I didn’t like the way they turned out and I didn’t know how to fix them. If I can fix whatever bothers me, then I simply post the final version under “Experiments.” What you are seeing in this blog is the initial version, before whatever corrections might be needed. Sometimes only a minor fix is needed, but I have to live with them for awhile, before I’m sure.
What I love about winter is how stark everything is, how extreme. And a minimalist composition and using a palette knife make it happen.
For some reason, the snow looks a lot more beigey here than in the actual painting (it is white). Guess I’ll have to take another picture before loading up to “Experiments.” But I like the composition.
Winter 11 has already had a lot of changes. So I think this one is done. But, of course, I could change my mind next week before I put it into “Experiments.”
With Winter 12, I wanted a darker sky with a little of the ground showing through the snow. It’s going to have to grow on me though. Not sure what to do with it, if anything. Again, the snow doesn’t look as white here as it does in the painting. I’m going to have to really rethink the way I photograph these.
To be continued… I’m still in a wintry mood and more winter weather is coming.
The weather has warmed up (positively balmy lately), but I’m still painting Winter. Something about the stark contrasts of winter lends itself to experiments. The composition is an experiment. Applying acrylic with a palette knife on mini (6×6) gessoed canvas is certainly an experiment (for me). And experiments are fun. No impossible to meet expectations, just “let’s see what this will look like.”
And if you don’t like it, you just gesso over it and start again. Waste not want not. Now Winter 3 is Winter 8. The snow is dirtier but it’s definitely still winter.
The weather outside has mellowed a little, but I continue to paint these simplified winter scenes on mini (6×6) canvases with a palette knife. In my head it’s still winter.
Winter 5 is fascinating to me. Seen up close it’s just a mess of pale colors and raised paint ridges. When you pull back a little it becomes an abstracted winter scene. There are bands of clouds in the sky, trees and even a path or two. At the time I painted it, my nose was about a foot from the painting and yet I was painting the scene you can only really “see” from a distance.
In Winter 6, I simplified the colors, modified one of my favorite trees a little and placed the land at an angle. I’m starting to like the way my shaky hands and the palette knife create the texture.
I brought back the yellow oxide for the clouds just over the top of the hill, but now that I re-examine it, Winter 7 doesn’t look like much of anything real. It’s the most abstracted of these mini paintings so far. For years, I struggled to abstract from the model, or from a real scene. Here it just happened.
And last but not least, Winter 8 is a little more representational, but still pretty abstract.
So with all of these Winter minis, I couldn’t create what I was trying to (smooth expanses of snow with muted, vague shapes). The palette knife made that unrealistic. Instead, I’ve created mini abstract paintings with a lot of texture. And I like them — some more than others — but I like them.
But in my head, it’s still winter, so I think I’ll try to recreate these scenes using my preferred acrylic on raw canvas. To be continued…