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So Cold, The Paint Froze

I would see this lonely tree at the roadside each time I drove from Hillsburgh, ON to Owen Sound or points further north. It was strangely smooth as all the bark no longer remained. As if it had been peeled like an orange to reveal a white gem. For months, I was captivated by this sight and would take the backroads just to see it.


I have no idea why I chose the coldest day of the winter to go paint it. I loaded the back of the truck with paints, put on my snow pants and warmest hat and cut the tips of some gloves to ensure I was able to paint. I knew instinctively which canvas to take with me.


At the side of the road I opened the tailgate and began the preparations. I had learnt previously to bring hot water in the bottles to ensure I had all that I needed to get through the painting. As I worked to get the paint onto the canvas I couldn't move fast enough for the thoughts in my head to compete with the drying of the paints. I had yet to learn about the products that slow the drying of acrylic paints. When my fingers grew too numb and I had more paint on my snow pants than needed, I threw it all haphazardly into the truck and returned to the studio.


My then mentor, Kathleen Schamltz described this painting as ''painterly." I'll take that, was my first thought!






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