Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Red Cedar" -- plein air study -- oil on 9x12" birch panel
Finally we got some snow here in Michigan! And even more amazing: sun! My artist friends and I were thrilled to get out and paint this morning, even though it was only 10 degrees. This was a new spot for us -- on Sleeth Road, just east of Milford. This used to be farmland. Across the street, to the north, is a huge subdivision: Sherwood Forest, complete with a vast man-made lake.

I'd been itching to paint some of these red cedars. In winter they turn the most amazing shades of burgundy, rust, gold, deep blue -- like an old oriental carpet. Usually the deer browse away the lower branches.

One of the great things about a sunny snow scene is the wonderful, deep blue shadows. My favorite landscape teacher, Clyde Aspevig, told us to lay the shadows down and stick with them -- don't keep moving them as they change, or you'll drive yourself mad!