Painting En Plein Air: Seeing Beauty in Winter

Christmas day in Texas was the PERFECT weather for painting en Plein Air, an enjoyable 75 degrees.  

In this episode, we went to the Euless Nature Preserve (Near MT-13). As I said, Christmas day- it wasn’t a white Christmas, BUT it was still a beautiful day!  For this painting, I used gouache paint on a spiral-bound notebook, along with a new piece to my set up; a tripod and a panel/notebook holder that my dad made me, both of which I got for Christmas. I trekked out off the path into the marsh and made it to the pond with only a tiny scratch. 😉 I thought the pond scene was so beautiful, so I set up and painted! Though a few bees scared me, I’d say that this little painting sesh went great!

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

The winter can be a dreary time—cold, dead- gray. However, beautiful fall and dormant winter are intricately intertwined. Winter is what it is because of the fall. Fall is a season of transition. A transition to the long winter. If you have experienced the Fall season, you most likely enjoyed the explosive display of colors the trees express. But is there beauty in winter? 

I may be only seventeen, but I have had my fair share of hardships. Plenty of winters. I think the same question arises in our life when hard times come; is there beauty in winter?  

I love painting en Plein air because I get to experience nature differently than I can in any other way. Each season is beautiful in its own way, I think because of the connectedness between them. Fall’s colors are beautiful. Even more so because we only get to enjoy them for a short time. Winter is beautiful because it gives birth to spring. 

Christ's Connection to the Seasons

When I look at the life of Christ I see connections to the seasons. Christ’s ministry with the apostles, we can call the summer, there were a few thorns, but it was abundant with life. Then comes the fall, Judas betrayed Jesus, and He was crucified. Then winter. Death. Jesus was in the tomb. But what comes after winter? Spring. Jesus rose from the grave and gave life to us all. Jesus’ death was pure beauty. Pure love. Pure goodness. 

Jesus’ love for us is around us in every season including winter. His life shows us that the winter seasons are necessary for the spring to come. 

I think there is beauty to be found everywhere. All that matters is where you look. 

I’m very new to this Plein air painting method. BUT! My motto is to focus on the journey and not the destination. Sooooo, maybe you could join me! Get out there and be creative! Try the new scary thing. Trust me; it’s not as scary as it seems. Plus, you might even find yourself enjoying it. 😉


- Gouache primary colors set (this includes green, which my set didn't have)

- Tripod

- Panel Holder (my dad made mine, but this is the concept)

- Royal & Langnickel brush set

- Canson 7x10  Mixed Media journal

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