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Colors and Patterns in Snow

January 12, 2011

Please forgive my obsession with snow. This is a relatively rare occurrence where we live. But from an artist’s viewpoint, I decided to walk outside this morning after the sun was up and look for colors and patterns in the snow. I love the orange of the sunrise reflected off the snow, especially in the trees.





I will continue to look at these pictures and learn what I can about what the sun does to colors when it’s at such a sharp angle to the earth in winter. It’s not easy to be outside and try to paint in such extreme weather. But photographs are great studies too.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:08 pm

    I shall be most interested to see any artworks that come from the colours and patterns in the snow. Here it is mid-summer and today has heated up again. I hope you don’t get the amount of snow that other parts of America have suffered from.

    • January 13, 2011 5:26 am

      Sandra, I saw a map on the weather channel that showed all the states in the US that have snow on the ground somewhere. The only one with no snow right now is Florida!! Amazing.

      Mid summer seems like such a distant memory. But it will be here all too soon.

  2. January 13, 2011 12:23 am

    your photos are beautiful!! the way the light is reflected or sometimes absorbed by snow is what fascinates many of us, i think. (and yes, i’m obsessed with snow, too- growing up in birmingham, we all were utterly amazed by snowfall due to the infrequency of it.)
    i see you’re embracing winter’s gifts, or at least this one! i am as well.

    • January 13, 2011 5:32 am

      Yes, Stephanie, it’s beautiful and completely changes the landscape. I love the silence of it too. Almost no one is driving yet, so daytime sounds like night.

      I made the mistake of not buying any boots before it snowed this time. That meant that I can’t do much walking around out there. If I could, there would be more photo ops.

  3. Amy permalink
    January 13, 2011 12:59 am

    what the hell are you doing up in the morning? For Christ’s sake… Artists need more sleep than normal humans. Go back to bed.
    Don’t mind any of that. You learn as much as you must from those painfully bright rays… I DO love looking at your work and I love learning from what you learn… particularly as I don’t get up in the morning and have no clue what the morning sun looks like in real life. Bet it’s pretty…

    • January 13, 2011 5:36 am

      Amy, I’m up between 4 and 5 every morning. My furry kids see to it. But yes, just between you and me, I do go back to bed sometimes! I do enjoy sunrises, though.

      I’m happy to hear you enjoy my blog and artwork. Thanks for being here.

  4. January 13, 2011 1:33 am

    Lovely Poto! Liked the last two! best
    You could always do a quick sketch in the manner of Turner
    It is easy to forget how snow looks It is perhaps a light contrast thin the sun and white or even the grey with white ion a cloudy day,the snow reflects and night is not even dark!

    • January 13, 2011 5:40 am

      Thanks, Chris. You’re so right. I keep thinking what I can retain about the scenes outside. Yesterday when I took those pictures it was 18 degrees F, or close to minus 8 for you! I can’t imagine my fingers working very well at that temperature.

      So amazing how many shades and reflections there are depending on the different angles of the sun or even the moon.

  5. January 14, 2011 1:11 am

    Wonderful light! Great pictures! The colors remind me of something I heard about Grandma Moses; she was asked why she painted the shadows in snow landscapes grey, not blue; she said: “I don’t see them blue”. But in the sunshine, they definitely look blue! How sad she did not see it. I guess she painted what she knew, not what she saw; this is what children do. It gives them limits and freedom at the same time. As a naturalist, I taught myself to paint like an idiot: Switch off what I know and scan the view, not analyze it. This is how I made my portraits. And if it still doesn’t work, I take a picture, have a copy made on paper and put it upside down, along with the canvas, and paint exactly what I see. I guess this is the key to doing amazing things.

    • January 14, 2011 5:20 am

      Such a good point, Eva. I think it’s so important to forget what we know and just try to get down what we are seeing. The upside down photo trick is a great one to use with kids too. They are always amazed at the results.

  6. January 14, 2011 1:13 am

    Instead of “idiot”, you can call such a kind of paiter a “living camera”.

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