Gesso for the heck of it!

I finished the "pining" series this morning. Gabriel rolled his eyes at my cheesy titles for them, but oh well. I like giving paintings cheesy titles. It's a thing with me.

"pining for winter" ink, gesso & acrylic on canvas, 12" x 24" $360

I did something a little different with these paintings. They are done from a series of photos I took when we were in Waterton snow shoeing last week. The weather was very odd. The weather was a bit cloudy, and then really cloudy, then it was raining when we got to Cameron Lake to park our car, snowing while we snow shoed to the lake and then blowing hard and snowing sideways when we got to the Lake. We had to take shelter behind the info booth by the lake so we could melt snow for tea and eat our sandwiches in peace. It wasn't cold at all....but there was so much blowing snow out in the open that we couldn't see across the lake at all. It was a little nerve wracking as we didn't have the gear to overnight properly if we got stuck in little car so high up in the mountains. It turned out fine in the end and was sunny by the time we got back to Lethbridge....and then the next day we awoke to 3cm of fresh snow on the ground. It was fairly sheltered in the trees from the wind, and fairly bright too considering the cloud cover. The fresh snow looked like it was glowing and there weren't any shadows left by the tall pines on either side of the path we were on. I love when winter light does that. It was very striking....all these dark slender trucks, rich green foliage and this bright, perfectly white snow with no shadows on it. I took photos and then thought about how I would paint it as we trudged to the lake in deep snow (which was super fun by the way. I love snow shoeing but man, it's hard work!). I thought it would be neat to leave the snow as the bare gesso, since it's so white on it's own. Then I underpainted where the trees were in a mixture of payne's grey and titanium white. Just a very rough placement. After painting in the trees I touched up some of the grey underpainting with a bit of gesso on my brush without covering it entirely. The effect is just what I wanted....snow so bright it could be it's own light source. I just posted the one painting here, but all three are there for you to see in the gallery section under '2011 works', complete with dimensions and cheesy titles. (Sorry Gabriel!)

And now for the Edmonton trolley car...