Snow and the Artist

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Winter Freeze – John Pototschnik

I don’t often have the opportunity to paint snow scenes from the actual subject. Snow, in this part of Texas is not too common, however this year has been different. We had three separate snow falls including some ice.
Winter Blast – John Pototschnik

I am not a fan of cold weather but I do know that nothing is impossible with God, so I would like to some day be able to set up my easel in the snow while wearing shorts and a T-shirt…and enjoying glorious 70 degree temperatures. In my younger days, I did paint outside in the snow but now I paint in a more comfortable setting.
The two paintings above were painted from my north facing studio window.
(All the images below are snow scenes painted by some truly magnificent artists)
A Farm at Montfoucault – Camille Pissarro

The whole country has experienced quite a winter. Do you know snow is not really white? It’s actually clear/transparent, glass like. When water freezes inside clouds, ice crystals form. The ice crystals form around tiny bits of dirt that have been carried up into the atmosophere by the wind. The ice crystals join together creating snowflakes. Once the flakes are heavy enough, they float to the ground at 3.1 mph.
New England Winter Landscape – Aldro Hibbard

Each snowflake is made up of from 2 to 200 individual crystals, and each of these crystals come in one of six basic shapes. As snowflakes pile up, all these little ice crystals act as tiny prisims reflecting the light and scattering the color, thereby creating the appearance of white. Snow is not always white however, because the color of the soil carried up into the atmosophere can affect the color.

Cornish Hills – Willard Metcalf

Most snowflakes are less than one-half inch across, but amazingly, the largest recorded snowflake was 15″ in diameter. The colder it is outside, the smaller snowflakes tend to be and the most beautiful, fluffiest snow occurs around 15 degrees.
Argenteuil – Claude Monet

A few other interesting facts about snow…averaging 94″ of snow annually, New York City receives more snow than any of the other largest US cities. Practically every location in the US has received snow at some point, even south Florida and Hawaii. A record breaking snowfall for Phoenix occurred in 1933…one inch. Finally, if there is a blizzard in the forecast, run out and load up on cakes, cookies and candy, a lot of other people do.
Home at Montclair – George Inness

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