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Virtual Paintout - Summit County, Colorado - January 2012

For January's Virtual Paintout, Bill Guffey sent us to Summit Country, Colorado. What an amazing location! I soon understood where the county got its name. The Google “street view” team actually put on their skis for this one: more like “slope view” in parts. It was difficult to choose a location to paint. I must admit I was looking for something I might be able to send out as a holiday card next December... I hesitated between Christmas decorations in town, skiers in action, a view of snow covered peaks and various groups of evergreens. This weekend, I took out a small canvas board and painted the above. The weather in Brussels has been unseasonably warm so I really enjoyed this getaway in the snow!

Here's the scene in Google's Street View:

Don't forget to visit the Virtual Paintout blog for the entire collection of winter landscapes inspired by Street View Summit County.

"Slope View"
18x24cm, oil on canvas board

Happy New Year !

When I first moved to Belgium, I heard that my landlords had nice paintings on their walls and that they had two sets. That is, when the weather started to get cold, they would take out the winter landscapes and put the summer canvases into storage until the following summer. I'd never heard of anyone doing this but it seemed like a wonderful idea.

That's probably why, back in December 1999, when I noticed my paintings didn't go well with the Christmas tree, I decided I needed a special holiday painting that I could take out and hang in December to replace one of my spring landscapes. So I went out and bought a poinsettia plant and painted the above still life.

This is the first year I've forgotten to take it out, yet with workers here tearing out the bathroom walls and mixing plaster in my bedroom, it's not surprising. In fact, I haven't managed to do much of anything during this two-week vacation. Hopefully the humidity problems are finally fixed and I will be able to spend more time painting in 2012 (rather than cleaning bathroom walls with chlorine in my spare time).

"Xmas Flowers"
40x50cm, oil on canvas