Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blowing Snow - Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain from Sprague Lake

Here is my effort from Saturday.  I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park specifically to paint at Sprague Lake.  Up at Sprague, which is probably about 10,000 ft elevation, the temp was in the 20's and the wind blew at a steady 20-30MPH.  It's often windy in RMNP in the winter so no problem and as for the cold, once I begin to paint I become so engrossed in capturing my subject that I don't notice it.  To combat the wind I sat on a log so I could keep my tripod low to the ground (I usually stand while painting).  I also hung my weighted backpack from the tripod.  That still wasn't enough so I did the entire painting while holding my tripod down with my left hand.  The wind gusts were so forceful that I had to keep the lid on my mineral spirits can to ensure it didn't spill if the wind took it.

Painting in these tough conditions challenges me to see just what I can do.  The reward is potentially twofold: 1. I just might convey some of the feeling and imagery from the amazing show nature is putting on, and 2. I become more conditioned to focus on the key stuff and eliminate the unnecessary...both in my painting of the concept and subject matter and in the materials I bring and use.  If the painting is a disaster, I note what I learned so I can apply it next time and I take a deep breath and acknowledge the blessing of spending a few hours truly immersed in nature, seeing and experiencing what many never do.


  1. It was worth the effort - this is really nice.

  2. Very nice, I think you succeeded in simplifying the elements and still conveying the feel and dynamics of the location.


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