Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bitter Winter? Hunker Down in the Studio

Firstly- what is hunker? and how did it get into our language- Perhaps a topic for another blog.( I have already checked out its derivation.) And I am pretty sure you have to use it with "down" and not just by itself. As in- I am going to hunker?
Doesn't sound right.
Us ol'timers in this place called the San Luis Valley were reminded this past couple months of how "challenging" the winters used to be. We have been lulled into a mild decade or so of relatively not-so-frigid winters.
But starting mid-December we were subjected to some particularly bitter temperatues. We set at least 16 national lows for the lower 48 running into January. One reading in the wee hours logged in at a minus 32 F!
And yes you should be envious of our collective fortitude to withstand such extreme cold!
These conditions encouraged me to recollect the warmer and greener times of the summer of 2012.
Especially some of the amazing environs around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.
So in the studio I have been working up some pieces from a hike that we took up to Loch Vale, one of the most picturesque vistas in all of the park.
Fellow artists Coni Grant, Sue McCullough and Dawn Normali set out in August with plein air gear and took the 3.5 mile trail into the lake.

I also brought up one of my recorders to play music at the lake. I was rusty and the wind off of the lake messed with the notes- but it makes for a great picture- huh.

I was able to get a pretty good start on that painting and touched it up later in the studio.

Below is the finished 12" x 9" oil entitled " The Loch"

Here we are in the act, me, Sue and Dawn (photo by Coni Grant).

When I was confined by the frigid temps this winter I decided to work up a larger painting from another view on the edge of this magnificent lake.

Below is " Threshhold to Loch Vale" and it is 24" by 30."


Some of our snow is melting now but there are still large drifts lurking in the north shadows.
Winter is still holding firm but soon we will be out in the field again- time for some spring thaw pieces.

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