"Dog and Cat Island"
oil painting on linen, 8 x 10 inch
copyright 2010 MaryAnn Cleary
Painting outdoors is a challenge at times, but there is something about being able to see and interpret what one sees without painting from a photograph. A person's eyes are actually capable of seeing more colors than a typical camera. (There is a digital camera that is available and it is compared to the full spectrum of colors that the eye sees. It is made by a Japanese company, PaPaLaB Co. Ltd., and for a mere $140,000, one can own a YC-3000.) This artist will continue to rely on what she sees in the field and being at the mercy of the elements of nature. However, I do take reference photos and along with small painted studies for later use in the studio.
Last year a group of artists met for the first time at a campsite on the Gunflint Trail in Minnesota. The place we stayed for our week long excursion is the YMCA Menogyn Camp located on the West Bearskin. There is no direct road access to the camp. We walked across the frozen lake to the camp buildings - summertime, one canoes - along with our bedding, art paints and canvases, and other necessities. There we had the joy of painting in -20F degree weather outdoors. Chilly weather is expected during winter, especially in Northern Minnesota along the boundary waters. Clear skies made for excellent outdoor painting, even if the chill of winter added to the challenge.
Along with being able to paint in this beautiful area, we had heated cabins and bunk-style arrangements along with three hot meals a day. This year we plan on meeting again for this outdoor, painting adventure. The event is sponsored by the Grand Marais Art Colony. I plan on being one of those crazy artists enjoying the outdoors and painting the beautiful winter landscape. I also will bring along my snowshoes and cross-country skis just in case I get bored.
There is nothing more beautiful than the Boundary Waters Wilderness area in winter especially to enjoy and paint it as an artist.