Thursday, January 24, 2013

Painting In Big Bear - Plein Air Painting In Big Bear - Plein Air Painter - Painting In Snow


The week after Christmas my husband and I took the kids to Big Bear for some fun in the snow. We decided to go for a short hike, find a spot for lunch and take a little time to let the kids play in the snow while I knocked out a quick painting. You know what they say about the best laid plans, right? All went well until after lunch when I began setting up my easel (I call this the "easel phenomenon" and it happens a lot. Some of you are familiar with the cow story, right?). The clouds rolled in, the temperature dropped, my daughter got tired, started crying uncontrollably and it began to snow. My husband did his best to add layers of clothes to our three-year old to get her warm and to find fun things to keep her busy but, nothing worked. The peaceful setting was no longer peaceful. She was so loud at one point that a group of hikers came over to make sure she was O.K.

When I go out with my family to paint it's usually a compromise for all of us. They have to stay in one area longer than they would normally like to and I have to pick whatever view is handy and try to make a decent painting out if it.

On this trip I was about halfway through a pretty awful painting when the snow really started coming down. In a few minutes my palette was covered with snow and the oil in my paint began to seize up. Since I don't paint in the snow very often I didn't pack any medium in my backpack that would help get the paint moving again. So, with my daughter tired and crying, my son bored and my husband annoyed with the whole situation, I wiped off my canvas, packed up my gear and we headed back to the cabin for some warmth and some cookies (because cookies miraculously make all things better in my kids eyes...yeah O.K. they really make all things better in MY eyes).

My palette in the snow.

While we were leaving our lunch spot my son shouted that he could see the shape of the snowflakes as they landed on his jacket. I looked at my own jacket and sure enough, for the first time in my life I could see the shapes of the snowflakes as they landed.  Now, I grew up in Big Bear and I don't remember ever seeing them. Usually, the snow falls in clumps but this time, the air was dry and cold and perfect for keeping the flakes separate. It was amazing and I can confirm that each and every one was different. Amazingly my iPhone was able to capture a pair when they landed on my gloves. Pretty cool, right?

Snowflakes on my glove. 

All images ©2012 by Kim VanDerHoek
(You may not reproduce any of these images without my permission.) 

2 comments:

Leecia Price said...

Love the snow flake picture, thanks for posting that. I can relate to the post, I'm always trying to figure out a way to paint somewhere and my husband not be bored, much harder with kids I'm sure.
Better luck! Leecia

Leecia Price said...

Love the snow flake picture, thanks for posting that. I can relate to the post, I'm always trying to figure out a way to paint somewhere and my husband not be bored, much harder with kids I'm sure.
Better luck! Leecia