Yes, here I am, a survivor of below-zero degree temperatures (Fahrenheit) and harsh winds and forgotten down jacket to write this report of three days of plein air painting in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, from January 30 through February 1. The lead-in photo is Stape painting his demo painting on day 1. My camera died soon after that because the battery froze. It would come back for a few shots in the morning of each day, and then quit again.
Stape posted photos and reviews at the end of each day–he got some really amusing photos of himself and the artists, some of whom were unrecognizable behind their clothing barricades. You should check out his blog here. By mistake, I left my warm down jacket behind, so I had to wear every piece of fleece I had brought with me. I also wore three pieces of headwear–one to keep the ears warm, one for the whole head, and one for keeping the sun out of my eyes. I show up in two of Stape’s photographs. Look for the tan vest.
Apart from surviving, my strongest impression of the experience was the level of skill brought by the students. The workshop was full of really accomplished painters drawn to Stapleton’s persona and expertise. I was very happy to be in their company.
Not knowing what size painting I would be in the mood for in such harsh conditions, I brought an ample supply of 11 by 14’s, 12 by 16’s, and 16 by 20’s. The first two days, I kept with the smallest. Finally, on day 3 I boldly struck out with the 16 by 20, which won me an approving nod from Stape. He claims larger is easier because of the difficulty of squeezing a big scene onto the smaller canvas. But you can achieve a more finished result more quickly with a smaller canvas. Hence, my big one is not quite what I would wish for. Stape, however, advised me not to try to finish it but to keep it as a study document.
Knowing you are dying to see them, I hereby present the results of snow camp no. 1, in their order of creation.
The Hammock, 11 by 14
Nita, Renee and James hard at work, 11 by 14
Mt. Lafayette and Franconia Notch, 16 by 20