There’s something about winter that makes me want to paint night scenes. Probably because in the northern hemisphere there is more darkness this time of year. Night can be magical and mysterious, which is what I’m trying to convey in this painting with a dramatic sky and a full moon shining through the clouds. “Creatures” tend to become more active at night, though in the dead of winter, I’m not so sure. I bet most sensible animals slow their heart rate down and buckle down until warmer times. I like to think of ourselves as slowing down too, to take a breath and look around? Nah, of course not.
The “Blizzard of 2016” rolled in and left a nice 30-inch snow portion for NJ folk to savor. But, this dish disappeared quickly – a big thaw began as the warm air crept in, melting the stuff away along Caitlin and the Twins’ creation, Ronnie the snowman. The big thaw inspired this watercolor. It is a slightly exaggerated view from the parking lot shared by tavern employees, shoppers, and residents of the old apartment building (that’s us). You may have seen the same building in an earlier post, but the Sycamores are brandy new. Enjoy!
At last; a light snow dusting settled on tree branches and walking paths in the second half of Sunday. Just in time for the finished painting, which I started last week!
One morning before work I went out to Natirar Park to do a site assessment for my ecology class. I puttered around in the frozen field for a while and then I made my way down to the Raritan River to jot down a few more notes. A great blue heron patiently waited on the partially frozen section of the river and it probably wondered why I showed up and when I would go away. I know that’s what I’d be thinking if I were a great blue heron. I got what I needed for class and high-tailed it out of there before I completely lost feeling in my fingers. I rolled up to the stop sign and I noticed a bright red barn across the street. I thought it looked interesting so I snapped a quick photo before making a left turn out of the park. The following weekend I tried to recreate the scene on paper, minus that awful street running through the middle. I took out the street and put in a field where the snow had almost melted away. I didn’t like the way the first attempt came out so I tried it again. Here are the results.
Its like one of those electronic games you play at the bar trying to figure out the difference between the 2 pictures….
I joined this club and arranged to have a group hike, but we didn’t get there in time. It snowed in the Mountains of upstate New York, but it snowed in Central Jersey too. Continental breakfast at the motel was three rice crispy bars and Folgers coffee. It was colder than I expected. Shivering we layered up and threw our packs in the back of the jeep.
It was only a few hundred yards to the trailhead if you didn’t mind trespassing and hopping fences. We took the main road and further down the road it was closed off. My hunnie used her back-road navigation-phone-gadget-tech-devices to land us at the trailhead. The others had already gone up the mountain and now it was our turn to walk into the gray and white cold.
The snowshoes felt very odd. I quickly replaced them with micro-spikes and so did my hunnie. It was damn cold, but my body started to feel comfortable two miles up the trail and the golden eagle we just saw raised our spirits. I turned around to look back at the mountains. The silence was unsettling. My ears were ringing. I wonder if I could get used to the quiet if I stayed out here for a few days.
A while later we were down from the mountain it was time for beer. At the bar, everyone was wearing a hat. Even the large and in-charge lady bar tender was sporting a chauffeur hat. Was this a theme or were they trying to cover up bald spots? Doesn’t matter, beer was good and that made me happy. A pit-bull pup ran through the bar pouncing on empty peanut shells and I sat back and reveled in the memories the day had brought.