Paint Schoodic

We had another successful painting workshop at the Schoodic Institute in beautiful Acadia National Park. Join us in 2018!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weather notes

When I arrived in Waldoboro, it was hovering around a high of 27° with a low in the single digits, and no snow.
A few weeks ago I quoted a sailing instructor:

For God's sake, learn how to read the weather!

For home work, I made my sailing students keep a notebook chronicling the daily weather. It had to have the forecast from the newspaper with their own observations.

At the time, I said that would be a great idea for my plein air painting students, too. Rather than assign work I haven’t tried myself, I packed a small watercolor sketchbook, ruled off into six squares per page, and my trusty old Winsor & Newton pocket paint kit.

That was the pattern until the end of the week, when the temperatures moved up and the sky started building.

In Rochester my studio faces to the north and east, away from the weather front, and the southwest sides of our house—which is where the action is, weatherwise—have more limited visibility. After this week of balancing in precarious positions, I feel like I might just go out on the stoop and sit. It takes fifteen minutes for the paints to really freeze.

I was in Winter Harbor, left, when snow moved in.

What have I learned so far? It’s generally sunnier here in winter than it is in Rochester. The winter light is lemony and the shadows are purple, whereas in Rochester, the winter light tends toward peach and the shadows toward blue (perhaps because it’s never truly bright). And a blizzard is a blizzard is a blizzard, no matter where it’s blowing.

I hope to shovel out and hit the road to Pittsford today, but the plows remain obstinately quiet. Still, they needn’t come by until I’m ready to roll. Just in time is fine.

The day before the blizzard, left, was a perfectly clear Maine day.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

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