17. Winter and other stimulants.

I can't believe it's March already. I'm sure many people in North America are ready to put this winter behind them. Here in the Pacific Northwest and on Vancouver Island particularly, we have enjoyed one of the mildest ( snow-free ) winters on record. Many of the region's flowers are out and people are cutting their lawns and preparing their gardens for planting. Plein air artists have been working outdoors for weeks and many studio artists I know have been inspired to get outside and capture images they will use later as reference for new paintings. Can you imagine trying that in Toronto or the Maritimes. In the nineteenth century many of the Impressionists were considered plein air painters and they never let the winter conditions deter them from capturing snow scenes and stormy skies. I think wine and other stimulants may have helped them fight the cold conditions, but their love of painting was their primary motivation. Degas was really the only Impressionist that refused to work outdoors and was always a studio painter. My newest piece is finally nearing completion, and with my health improving I look forward to more productive days ahead. The sun is shining and it's hard to not be optimistic. Until next time...