What excitement winter brings with all of its moody weather.
Rain, then sun, then clouds and huge gusts of wind.
Never a dull moment.
Painting on a small dirt road near Bolsena Lake this afternoon was very exciting. Though it is a lake you wouldn't know it by the surf it was producing due to high winds.
Deciding against painting right in the middle of the highest gusts of wind, I went a bit inland and painted what was to me a magical quiet scene along a dirt road with not a soul in sight.
I believe that it's moments like these that separate the plein air from studio painters.
It was freezing and the wind was blowing the equipment around everywhere meaning I had to find a way to weigh any object down, including my palette which blew down this road more than once.
The magic of the fast moving clouds casting their shadows on the far mountain and this little shed with the road going off into nowhere that I could tell, well, I wouldn't trade these moments for the creature comforts of a studio any day of the week.
Because of the conditions I felt I had to be fast and make quick painting decisions: no time for fussing, fixing or changing one's mind. I got it down as quickly as I could and picked from the various changing elements that were the most exciting to me visually.
With all that said, any plein air painter will tell you that they can take heat, freezing cold and all kinds of extreme conditions, but wind, now that is by far the most annoying and difficult to deal with.
Still being outdoors and responding in the moment to what you're seeing and experiencing, that can never be reproduced and it makes you know you're alive.