Thursday, 6 June 2013

Winter Trees

The winter of 2009 was a very snowy one and the week before Christmas, it was decided that TLH and I would drive to his native homeland to fetch his parents and bring them back so they could celebrate with us and his sister.

The journey, on a good day in summer, takes between 2.5 and 3 hours each way.  This journey, on 21 December 2009, was a couple of days after heavy snowfall and media reports of cars being abandoned on the approach roads to Basingstoke and, indeed, as we approached one of the big roundabouts outside Basingstoke, the Sky News reporter and satellite van were still there, and abandoned cars lined both sides of the hard shoulder.

We didn't have too much trouble with the roads but it did take us over 7 hours to get to his parents, mostly due to one of the Severn Bridges being closed due to sheet ice falling from the cables, and subsequent enormous traffic jams trying to get over the open one, so we had to go the long way round.

It was a very long journey.  But the upshot was the weather.  It had stopped snowing but it got very foggy in Hampshire and Berkshire (we go across country to get to the M4).  It was incredibly atmospheric, so I spent a great deal of my time taking photos on my iPhone out the window as we were zooming past the scenery.  I remembered I'd got some surprisingly good photos, considering I was in a moving vehicle travelling at about 50mph+ when they were taken, and I decided one of these might be a good subject for my next painting:

See what I mean?  It ended up being a toss-up between this last one, the one with the broken fence and the sun and the one I finally chose:

I love the colours in this photo - the slight green and pink tinge to it all, and the yellow where the sun presumably is.  And the two trees, just standing there.

For some reason I didn't take photos of the process of painting this one but you can be guaranteed it involved scumble glazing with my stencil brushes!  I used an A5 sized canvas board for this one and, if I remember, this was a quick painting, only taking a few hours to do, and it came out really well:


And a close up:


I've now put this in a matt silver frame and it looks great!  I may well go back and do some other paintings from this photo series...

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