Sunday, 10 December 2017

Ice-colour painting - endangered?

The challenges of using watercolours outside when it is below freezing are well rewarded by, umm... trying to capture details with frozen-solid brushes? blotchy skies? frostbitten fingers? Well, maybe a unique style, a sharper appreciation for working quickly, and definitely a memorable experience.  This is a good example from early November, when it was about -6C on Hollyburn peak.  You can see some nice crystalization in the sky and mountains.
But my recent attempts have failed - it just hasn't been cold enough.  This one from the Hollyburn cross-country area as the clouds rolled in was close, just below 0C, but not quite enough to freeze the paint.

Even Edmonton, on the last day of November - this should be the world centre for ice-colour painting - came in well above freezing as I drew the river from a pedestrian bridge.

And back on Hollyburn Peak, mid-December now, it was a sunny +9C with a warm breeze, in a strong inversion that was blanketing Vancouver below in fog.  It was so warm that I skied up the rapidly melting (but still deep) snow in a short-sleeved shirt, and people on the peak were dancing around in their underwear.  (There are still a few eccentric and exuberant people left in this age of internet shaming).  I am wondering if the days of ice-colour painting are numbered...

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