The Winter Gang

Every winter, for a number of years, a group of painter friends have gotten together here in Woodstock to paint throughout the cold and snowy months of January, February and March. 

It's a good time and it helps us to keep painting outside through the long winter. I love painting snow, but I admit that it is difficult sometimes to get out there when the forecast is talking about really cold temps. But when you get together with a group, you are all in it together for the day and it brings an element of fun to the challenge. 

We do things right. First we meet for a big breakfast and some good conversation before we paint. Sometimes on a particularly cold morning, when you are sitting there by a roaring wood stove eating eggs and gulping down a hot coffee, you look outside at the shriveled landscape and ask yourself what the heck you're doing there. Then you look around at all your friends, some of whom have driven almost two hours to paint with the group, and the idea of getting out there seems to feel a little better. The breakfast time helps prepare everybody and the conversation topics are always interesting and there are always a lot of laughs.

We usually start on the first Saturday after the new year and make it a point to get together every weekend until March 20th, which is the first day of spring. This year we decided to start early, before the snow flies as they say. We also changed the painting day to Sunday as it works out better for everybody. There is no snow in the forecast yet, but autumn is still giving us some hints of her beautiful color and the November skies are filled with fast moving, ever changing cloud formations. They are a real delight to the human spirit and at no other time of year in New England will the clouds push their way through the skies and call so much attention to themselves.

Today's weather was cold and then warm and then back to cold. It kept this up for most of the day until mid afternoon when the sky turned dark and a big breeze picked up indicating that some rain was imminent. We knew it was coming but some of us couldn't put the brushes down until it suddenly opened up and poured. Here are some images from the first couple of painting days. I promise to put down the brushes once and awhile and get more shots of actual paintings in the future.