Yosemite in winter is a magical treat. After January snows, we captured a couple sunny days. Staying at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is wonderful – when you step out of your room the magnificent Yosemite Falls are right there, beckoning to be painted. So I didn’t have to walk far to have a fantastic view of the entire falls, brilliant in the winter sunlight.
Setting up my ever-ready 4×6 Guerilla paintbox in the snow was a blast – the frozen crunchy stuff makes a fabulous brush holder!
When travelling, I often bring this compact set up – the small box holds paint, brushes and canvas panels. On the road, I use Holbein’s Duo oil paints – for water soluable oils they are quite good, especially if you use the water soluable oil medium with them. Sure, nothing replaces real oil paint, but for quick sketches the conveniance of not having to mess with solvents is priceless.
Not being an experienced “snow painter,” I was surprised how relatively comfortable I was painting in the frozen stuff. Mind you me, I was dressed like a bear with my UGGs, and the sun was spoiling us with gentle winter rays. So – if I can do it – you definitely can! Painting outside in the winter is great fun – the snow makes these beautiful patterns and softens the landscape – voila, instant composition! And the winter light, has a soft warmth with abundant purple shadows, giving a great glow to the landscape.
Though what seemed like hundreds of tourists walked by (yes, even in the winter!), I barely noticed them, blissed out from standing in front of glorious Yosemite Falls, with snow sparkling in the winter sun. A sight so beautiful it can make you weak in the knees, and so grateful to be alive on this lovely planet we call home. What a blessing that there is such a thing as painting, where we can attempt to express at least a fraction of nature’s grandeur!
Also got in snow shoeing – that was a first, very fun! – and cross country skiing in the Valley. Being in the silence of the snow covered woods, surrounded by those gigantic rock walls, is nothing short of awesome. The occasional thundering rumble of snow tumbling down the steep incline comes as a surprise – even the smallest sound is amplified tremendously.
If you have a chance, wander out into the winter landscape with your paints in tow (and something hot to drink). Happy painting!