Friday, January 03, 2014

Winter Plein Air in Chicago

'Morning Snowfall'. 5 x 7. Pastel

'Morning Snowfall'. 5 x 7. Pastel.

From the warm Caribbean to the frigid Midwest in just a couple of weeks! Today I awoke to snow falling gently outside my window. It was early. Before cars and people would make the blanket of snow into a slushy mess. I sat and watched awhile taking it all in. What color was the winter sky? How would I paint it? What colors were the buildings? I made mental notes. I don't often see snow so I wanted to capture the moment in my mind. Of course I took a photo.

 

My mental notes would be good. My photos would help remind me. Now all I needed was a Plein air study. I was happy that I decided to throw my little pastel kit into my backpack at the last minute. There's no excuse not to paint when you have such a portable kit. I really didn't even need to go outside for the painting. ( it was about 9 degrees and snowing) so I painted from the comfort of our hotel room.

 

Here is a photo of my kit and the finished painting. Beyond is our snow covered balcony. Tomorrow it will be very cold with subzero windchill but sun. I just may brave the cold to paint a quick one!

 

2 comments:

The Collard Patch said...

This has to be one of my favorites, love your interpretation.

robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow! Visceral memory, I was just writing about the 1980s to a friend when I lived in Chicago and got miserably homesick for San Francisco, went on a vacation back home and came back to Chicago with a broken heart annoyed at the very idea of vacations. I went in the winter of course. I left with it looking like that, spent two weeks out in the sun and color where flowers are blooming and water tastes right and I don't have to watch what I say to people or they think I'm a nutter...

Back to "The City That Works" (Itself To Death.)

I think I'd have had a lovely vacation if I'd done that trip the other way around. Snow for two weeks when I live in the flowers, bring it on! That painting is so beautiful. It counts as Plein Air when you're doing the view from the window. Points to you for courage if you get out to paint in it while it's that cold!

I couldn't do it, literally my fibromyalgia would flatten me so fast I would pass out in it. I'd be doing plein air from the window. But I'd definitely get to the Field Museum again and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

There's great art and great exhibits. Charles R. Knight murals are one of the things to take in at the Field along with the great dioramas - some unsung brilliant painters did those dioramas of prehistoric life or other continents.

Lincoln Park Zoo has snow leopards among other beautiful cats, oh right, they have other animals too besides cats. But they have wonderful cats and a good breeding program, so they might even have underage cats. I got to see an eight week old snow leopard cub once visiting Lincoln Park Zoo, who enchanted me enough that I got a membership that year.

Also there's the Art Institute, which I know you'll probably go. It's incredible.

Have fun in Chicago. It is a great place to vacation!