Monday, August 15, 2011

Winter Thaw


Winter Thaw, originally uploaded by Mark Nesmith.
As anyone who lives in Texas knows, this summer has been brutal! We've just had 40 straight days of 100+ degree temperatures with several days that topped off near 110! It's been so bad that Todd Brisbon from Tattoos by Todd here in Seagoville has been posting videos on Facebook of his rain dances around town. Here's my small effort to help with a little relief from the heat.

This past winter was really unusual for us here in the Dallas area. We had not one, but TWO major snow events! Snow is a rarity in North Texas, so I couldn't wait to get out and paint this new winter wonderland. I drove around for hours making sketches and taking photographs. I admit it was a bit reckless, especially since I don't have snow tires or chains, and yes, I did get stuck a couple of times. Luckily Texans are a friendly bunch and a few good neighbors helped me out with a push.

Well, with the heat this past month I've been looking for some relief, so I pulled out my reference material and set to work. With my a/c unit working full blast I painted this view just off of Hwy 175 near Crandall. I love this spot and return to it often throughout the year. The combination of the hillside with the tree line and the canal winding its way along like a snake is irresistable to me. I especially loved this spot in the snow. Snow has the wonderful effect of unifying the whole scene, and keeping a bit of color interest while maintaining the slightly overcast feeling is a challenge. It's amazing how many different tints of light blues, pinks, and oranges I discovered in the snow banks. The hint of blue sky and slight warming in the distance is the beginning of the thaw.  This is an oil painting on canvas and measures 18" x 24".

We're supposed to be back in the 100's again all week, and I enjoyed this snow scene so much I think I'll have to do a few more, at least until winter comes around and I start dreaming of travelling to the hot sand and salty breeze of the Gulf Coast again.

1 comment:

  1. Mark this is really a beautiful painting and I like your thought of the cooler weather. A great setting with the water and the fence across one end. Good depth in the painting too! The water looks real, and the red in the reeds really adds contrast with the snow surrounding the creek. Ours has been a nice summer, not too hot, but I look forward to fall.

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