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  • Writer's pictureAlan Linquist


During the years when I previously painted, winter had usually been a slow time for me. Much of that had to do with the time we committed to Christmas, and that was usually followed by a cold and snow January. If I was lucky, I might get in a painting or two in the winter, but that was not always the case.

As I worked for many years , the only time I could paint plein air during the winter was on the weekends. The first winter piece I did was of the parking lot of a dying mall as it overlooked shops across the street from it. The main focus of the painting was not the shops or the mall, but the lines of snow piles left my the plows. At the time, I was fascinated by the colors that the shadows made on the snow. Blues, violets, and even aquamarine.

I did a few other winter paintings in later years. One was a line of Cape Cods at a time when the snow started melting. Due to the brief window of time I had between too much snow, and too little, it took me a few years to finish the painting. I also did a few smaller pieces that count more as sketches than completed paintings. Those were of the Milwaukee shoreline. I even have a few unfinished works from other winters, one being a small pine tree in a park, and the other being my neighborhood at dusk in the winter. Neither painting will ever be completed.

This year, I completed the two night paintings I had mentioned in the last posting, and I started a few small pieces, but our repeated cycles of snow and melting has made it hard to finish most of those painting. We’re suppose to get snow again, so it going to be tough to finish what I'm working on until early spring arrives.

Instead, I’ve been treating my old paintings. What I’m talking about is an oiling process. To be honest, I never hear of it until I came across a number of YouTube videos about it. So I’ve been taking my old paintings, and one by one, I’ve been oiling them. This involves applying a light coat of linseed oil over the painting. This helps invigorate the color, especially the darker colors. After the linseed oil dries, which can take a few weeks to a month, I then apply a light coat of varnish.

I won’t get this completely done at this time, but it gives me a chance to do some touch up and restoration on my old works. As an alternative, I’ve been painting a “portrait,” so to speak, of our utility room, where I paint, when I work indoors. And as always, I work on my podcast, which is a history of the movies.

Once the snow melts, I’ll start back up on my paintings. I should have a fairly busy spring.

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