After a balmy winter holiday, the temperatures in the Midwest plummeted. We recorded minus 4 degrees (F) this week. Needless to say, I’m a wuss and am not spending much time outdoors. However, even working in my studio has challenges.
As I have mentioned before, my studio is an old summer kitchen about 30 feet from the back door. It was designed when cooking was done on wood-fired cook stoves (which it actually had when we moved here.) This was to keep the heat out of the house in the summer. You’ll find one of these buildings on many old farms in southern Indiana and throughout the Midwest and South. I am lucky that ours is about 15 x 25’, which is pretty large for a summer kitchen. In this case, the family and field hands actually ate in the building. It is a perfect size for a studio.
Unfortunately, the whole purpose of the design was to keep the heat out of the house so they didn’t really care about insulating the building. Thus, it’s very drafty. Although I have a gas heater, unless I want to go broke, I keep it turned down. This week I was wearing a hat, many layers of clothing, two pairs of socks (the cold comes up through the floor), and I was still chilly.
I snapped this photo of the beautiful patterns of the frost on the windowpanes. It looks like giant feathers. With all of our insulated windows and super-heated houses, window frost has become more and more uncommon.
The beauty of nature is all around us, even in the most unlikely places.
Since I was confined to studio painting, here are a couple of my recent works. Plus, I tweaked the still life with red cabbage and artichokes that I posted on here a few weeks ago. Artists are never quite satisfied with their finished work. Renoir was known to bring his paints to gallery exhibits even after his paintings were hung, just so he could make changes. I’m not quite that bad but I might fiddle around with a painting which doesn’t quite suit me.
Here’s hoping that the weather is better where you are and that warmer days will be here soon.