At first glance, you and I may look very different– me an artist standing stationary at the bottom of the mountain, you skiing or snowboarding down– but we are more alike than you think.
For one thing, we both love winter! There is no such thing as too much snow. We love to breathe snowflakes. We also love winter sports! I consider plein air painting, which is painting in the moment outdoors, a sport. Both of our sports require specific equipment, strength, performance, adrenaline, grit, and many hours of practice. Some days you catch a flow and some days you wipe out. It takes a lot of practice to get a good run.
It has been said,“Skis are not just pieces of wood, steel and fiberglass. They are tools of escape, a medium for personal expression, a way to challenge fears, push limits and share incredible experiences with friends.” So it is with my tools of escape, except the pieces of wood, steel and fiberglass are paintbrushes and palette knives and fit in my hands, not on my feet.
Sugarbush is an extraordinary place to paint. I was struck by the warm camaraderie on the slopes, where people seem to feel at home. Parents who skied this same mountain as kids now bring their children, creating a legacy of memories. People are so generous, sharing their stories with me as they stop to watch the painting unfold. All this collective energy gets channeled into the art. The vibe of a place infuses the pallet. Unlike a photograph, which captures a specific moment in time, plein air captures an experience.
I will most definitely return next season to capture more of this magic with my kindred spirits.