Sunday, December 10, 2017

#2036 "Killarney George Lake from the Beach"

The 2017 Southampton Art School Annual Adventure was carrying on the legacy of my friend and artist Jane Champagne. This was the twelfth demonstration painting and the first of Thursday and Day 4 of the Plein Air Paint Out. We had arranged to meet at the eastern beach of George Lake and I said I would be early as always.

The shape of this beach is characteristic of a deformation zone and I am certain that the fluid flows that create deformation zones in the atmosphere are identical to the flows of molten rock that created the shape of George Lake Beach and the surrounding hills. These circulations occur in three-dimensions even though we focus on the horizontal cross-sections which in this case was provided by gravity and the water of the lake.
Actually there is also the western beach to consider and aside from the drainage from the river, it too is a deformation zone. The stronger flow down the Killarney Channel split into two and each generated a deformation zone beach...
It was a quiet morning and calm when I started to paint. I set up and was painting shortly after 8 am on the eastern beach of George Lake. The lake was calm under the radiational inversion. That would be quick to change with even the modest daytime heating. The gradient was supposed to be light looking at the isobaric charts but the continued cold air advection was unmistakable. The clues of the wind that would arrive were evident in the cloud but for now the waters of George Lake were still calm.

A mink came hunting along the waters edge. I was too slow and it was too cautious so I was not able to record its visit to the easel. A flock of white crowned sparrows also picked up seeds from the shore. I suspect that they had learned that the wind and waves were reliable partners in directing the seeds that landed on the water of George Lake. Seeds lined the sandy edge and they made for an easy breakfast.
Patches of blue sky appeared between the streets of turbulent stratocumulus. The air mass was cold enough to occasionally support snow virga. Those winds revealed by the turbulent clouds had not yet made it to the surface when I started. The radiational inversion broke down before I was done so I painted those winds and waves with the lack of glassy reflection into the scene.
I once had someone challenge me that I actually completed these paintings en plein air. When digital cameras came along I made the point of economically documenting that I did indeed finish them on location. In any case I find that I just mess them up if I try to make them better in the studio...
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