Thursday, 26 January 2017

January Plein Air

The temperature gauge in my car read 0 degrees but I was unprepared for the intense cold which makes ears, nose and hands ache. Ears and nose can to a certain extent be protected, but it is a difficult thing to draw and paint while wearing gloves - even mittens are tricky.

I was standing near Broadway Tower, a local landmark and Folly, built on an ancient beacon site with spectacular views all round, which means precious little shelter from wind, rain or as today, intense cold. There is also, which I didn't know, a nuclear bunker on site. A different kind of folly perhaps.

The trees are bare, stark against the large expanse of sky. The land drops away sharply behind the Tower from this position. No comforting distant horizon line where sky and land meet. No hills or woods to act as a backdrop against the old stone walls. Today the smaller branches and their little twigs are hung with frost giving the appearance of early blossom.

I chose the view as I enjoyed the little building in front of the tower and it was best seen from the side of the road opposite a handy lay-by, which meant I could draw looking over the low wall until my hands were ready to drop off, and then get back into the car and turn the heater on until it was warm enough to hold a paintbrush and apply some washes in relative comfort.

There are numerous other view points here and I am looking forward to making return visits as I know from experience that when painting plein air, no two days are ever the same.

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