First time for several years I dared to go in a forest paint en plain air in a winter.
To paint at a frost is always harder. It seems no matter how one would dress he will freeze no matter: while working on a painting you almost do not move. Hands freeze most of all: it’s inconvenient to hold a brush in mittens or gloves and to lay paint on the canvas. And the paints themselves freeze on a frost, turn into a dense paste. They don’t mix very well and it’s hard to scoop them with a brush. One couldn’t stay for long in such conditions, so you need to invent a way to work fast and expressively.
The place I was painting at is a stable yard in a forestry. Its dark-grey buildings were contrast shapes on the background from the snow. In this dark-grey color you can find a variety of colors. As blackish poles were sticking up from the snow, which melted and froze again more than once this winter, the trunks of the young trees and dry herbs. I decided that I will paint a watercolor study with oil: dark shapes on the dark-white.
The whole work time went in an unusual for me forest silence. Only sometimes it was interrupted by rustles of birds’ fuss and vague voices of seldom passer-byes from a distance.
Only when the painting was finished, I realized that the layers of the clothes on me got frozen. With a blueish hands I gathered my instruments and by a fast walk went to the exit from the forest. By the way the familiar places had reminded me, how in the childhood we went to ski here with parents. When we were going back home after, we were making a short stop in a bakery and buying hot bread. It was like a trip to the childhood, but now I was carrying not skies but the painter’s case with a just created painting.