We had a true Nor'easter yesterday and it delivered piles of fresh snow and a sunny, quiet day today.
Nothing beats snow for the best plein air experience. On a clear day the air is crisp...
...the shadows are blue and the snow is a brilliant warm white.
I headed over to Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, NH to meet to friends who wanted to paint old buildings in winter light. The collection of old buildings in Strawberry Banke is excellent!
Meet Chris Volpe and Todd Bonita!... who were all set up and in the thick of it when I arrived. It was about 20 degrees. These guys were set up painting in the shade as if it was a summer day!
Todd was painting a view of a small building in a sunlit patch of snow that was rapidly being swallowed by the shadow of a big house. He was measuring carefully to make sure his drawing and perspective were correct.
Today was the first day of a trial run for a new plein air set up, a Julian half size french easel.
It was a second hand special and missing the palette. This is the new replacement palette a woodworker at the Button Factory made. It is very handsome.
Todd used a neat custom made maul stick to get his lines straight on the edge of the building and windows. Don Demers was the artist who passed on this neat idea. Its great to learn and see these unique tools painters use.
While these guys were painting I was walking around sketching a number of views...
And I dropped into the Banks Gallery up the street near us to see the contemporary American paintings and talk to Jamie the owner.
We had very nice visitors pause on their way through the lane. The Museum is closed until spring. Many people in the neighborhood enjoy walking through the quiet lanes.
The afternoon sped by and soon the whole area was in shadow. The sun was dropping below the horizon and it was beginning to get chilly. Todd put the last notes on his sketch.
The sky became a peachy color after sunset and the half moon and stars came out. It was a nice ending to the first plein air outing of the new year.