Soon is the winter of our discontent...


photo of autumn leaves against a dark wood

This is the time of year when it starts to become more difficult to paint, because of the worsening weather. All this long and sultry summer it was difficult for me to remember the times when I have shivered with cold in the studio, unwilling but forced to open a window to let the oil paint fumes escape. Now those days are rapidly approaching once again.

I'm working on a commissioned portrait right now and yesterday I unexpectedly had a couple of hours to go into the studio. The weather was warm, with a howling and blustery gale, and the sun was strong when the clouds blew away. There are no blinds or curtains in my little studio, and the sunshine shone straight onto my iPad, bleaching out my reference photograph. Suddenly, a powerful gust of wind blew straight into the Panda house, blowing over canvases and mirrors. It was frightening: I could hear the adjacent tree creaking too. I felt that I should go back into the house to be safe, but of course I had to abandon my lovely unexpected afternoon, painting.

And it's getting colder, of course.

I can live with the cold, but I can't live without the light.

"Buy a daylight lamp!" say they; and I have one, but it casts a shadow on the canvas as soon as you apply the brush. I have tried. But the dark colours on the palette are easy to confuse in the artificial light: you can go to your painting the next day to find that where you wanted a deep blue, you have actually applied a deep brown. And the colours you thought looked so vibrant the night before have dried to a muddy paste. So, the window of opportunity to paint diminishes as winter takes a hold.

Still, I'm looking forward to all those delicious autumn colours....

#studio #winter #autumn #daylight

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