A Blustery Day in Kingsville 2010
With the cold unpredictable weather upon us this makes for difficult decisions. Do we brave the weather and head out? In this past month of September, every one of our paint outs were cancelled due to rain, wind, and cold. This is disappointing, to many of our members who wish to continue painting.
What solutions are there to bad weather? We are going to start impromptu paint outs. That means very short notice. How can you keep in touch with almost hour by hour decisions? Like our Facebook page. This is the easiest place for us to tell you about impromptu events. You can even post your own wish to paint, and ask others to join you.
Just because it’s getting cold does not mean you have to lay down your brushes. Dressing the part in this weather is very important. Layer your clothing. If you don’t have long johns, try wearing your Pajamas under larger fitting clothing. Wind-breaker type jackets are a must. You might even think about using a snow suit. The biggest risk is to your ears, nose, hands, and feet. Earmuffs, toque, neck-scarves, woolen socks, gloves and boots are a must. You can buy flip top fingerless gloves/mittens, which will help keep your hands warm, and still give you a bit of dexterity. Head to your sporting goods department, or specialty store, and look for gear that cater to ice fishing, and snowmobiling.
You can find specialty items for personal warmth. I have some hand warmers that run on lighter fluid. They get very hot. You must be careful when filling them. They usually come with a fleece bag to protect you from getting burnt on the metal. There is no flame once they are lit. My father introduced me to these warmers when I was a child. They kept us warm while tobogganing, and ice-fishing. You need a cigarette light to light them. Brands to look for are Zippo, and Peacock. Alternatively, you can purchase the more modern chemical one time use hand warmers in bulk. They will last 8 – 10 hours. Look for them at Canadian Tire, and Marks Work Warehouse. They do take 1/2 hr or so to warm up, so you will need to activate them on the drive to your location. Keeping these in your car emergency kit is a very good idea, even if you don’t go outdoor painting.
As for your supplies, if you are painting with watercolour, add a little vodka to your water as an antifreeze. Don’t drink it though. Contrary to popular belief alcohol does not warm you up, in fact it does pose a risk of hypothermia. Sorry, for the reality check, and I will leave you to do your own research on that one. The better choice is a thermos full of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea.
The other alternative, is to paint from your car. If that does not interest you, you can always retreat to your studio, and keep in practice. Whatever your decision, keep painting!
If you have an interest (or not) in cold weather painting please give us your opinion pro and con.
Author – Elizabeth Gaye MacDonald