Category Archives: winter

A lot of it will be wrong, but just enough of it will be right

oil pastel plein air sketch, Skye sunset

A6 sketchbook plein air drawing in oil pastels, sunset over Loch Pooltiel

So much has happened I haven’t had time to write. I’ve been ill, in hospital, had surgery. All new things. My sister died today. Lots of difficult things, incompatible with a cool head needed to paint. I’ve been to Skye again and, mustering everything, managed to make some scrimpy plein air sketches. That was just after the last time I saw my sister. One of the sketches must become a larger painting. I hope it will work.

plein air sketch in oil pastel, A6 sketchbook, Skye evening

oil pastel sketch of Loch Pooltiel, early evening, plein air, A6 sketchbook

The river god is gone. The stream flowing through the rocks is unimpeded. Summer is over. There is deep snow up on the hill where I sat and painted in the summer evening air. Even then, the sky held melancholy feelings. Now those feelings linger in the pale blue over the distant peaks with their blank coverings.

plein air [ainting, Howgills, 9x12 inches

on the ridge near Crosdale, Howgills, summer evening, plein air painting, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches

The moon tonight deserved a painting. It sailed diagonally across golden waves of cloud, a huge yellow boat. Maybe my sister was sailing there, away from the thick frost and up into starlight. Perhaps this afternoon’s sunset was hers. It looked like an Edvard Munch painting, one where the sun’s globe had a path of white light beneath it so it resembled a figure, standing against glowing pink and orange.

Winter: a post of few words

photo of frozen pond

pond on the edge of an icy nowhere

There are such a lot of things that have no place in summer and autumn and spring. Everything that’s a little shy and a little rum. Some kinds of night animals and people that don’t fit in with others and that nobody really believes in. They keep out of the way all the year. And then when everything’s quiet and white and the nights are long and most people are asleep—then they appear.

― Tove Jansson, Moominland Midwinter

Winter still has us in its grip. It’s too cold to do anything much other than survive and dream and paint indoors by electric light and, if you are lucky, the shy, rum things might creep out to watch.

In the short daylight hours Tilly and I take to the hills seeking compositions for future paintings.

image of snow on the hills

snowy path marks the entrance to Crosdale (round the corner)

large cloud image

a huge cloud floats across the valley

image showing sun, cloud and snowy hills

sun breaking through the cloud

photo showing Howgill Fells and Lakes mountains in the distance

Lake District mountains on the horizon

Tilly the Welsh Springer

lovely Tilly

hollow in the hills with mountains behind

a bowl-shaped depression frames a mountain backdrop

photo of cloud composition

an assertive cloud arrives