Ice Cold

When temperatures have not climbed out of the single digits for a few days, going outside when it’s 10-degrees seems almost reasonable. And what more appropriate subject to focus on than ice? I walked along a nearby stream, looking at the variety of frozen formations. Though I had my sketchbook, it was too cold to open it, so I snapped a few photos and returned home to paint. How ironic then, when, sitting in my warm home office/studio, a frozen pipe burst upstairs, sending a cascade of water through walls, ceiling, and light fixtures into the kitchen. Ah, ice! In all its beauty and destructiveness. I am sharing only the interesting forms and sparing you the mopping up.

36 Comments on “Ice Cold

  1. Oh no, Jean! I feel your pain! I once had an illustration for a client on my kitchen table, all wrapped up and ready to be delivered. During the night a pipe leaked all over the table and ruined the illustration. I hope the pipe is not to much of a pain to repair! Your sketches are wonderful. Glad you got to paint your stream too.

    • Fortunately, no artwork was impacted! We were lucky that we were home, so we could shut off the water and get a plumber in right away. They found and fixed the pipe and the damage appears minimal. It could have been disastrous had we not been there. Now back to working on painting water.

  2. Ice. Beautiful and treacherous at the same time. I’d rather see it in this format. And if I could, I’d be there to help you mop. Sorry to hear. Please stay warm. stay safe

  3. I, too, have had too many “run ins” with water mishaps. Thankfully no artwork was ever ruined from it- although who knows, pouring water over some of my painting attempts might improve them! Love these pictures. Great idea to paint the ice.

  4. Your ice sketches are wonderful! What a wonderful tribute to winter. So glad your house seems to be healing.

  5. Oh no! I SO admire – and am inspired by – your ability to make some beauty out of a catastrophe like a broken pipe!! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – and am inspired by – your gorgeous style of nature journaling, even though I don’t always comment when your always artistically energizing posts show up in my email.

    • Hi Janet- Thanks for reaching out with such a nice and positive note. Given how badly the week started, I really appreciate it! I’m glad that ice can even be inspiring!

  6. How wonderful “Ice Cold.” You have a good sense of humor, apparently about the burst pipe too. We were spoiled by the mild December and now it really is “ice cold.” I haven’t walked in over two weeks!! Old age keeps me from exploring along the creek but I have a few pictures of the ice in all it’s lovely forms. Your paintings depict it perfectly and beautifully.
    How will you paint the WIND? ;D

  7. Oh Jean, glad to hear the burst pipe happened when you were home! Yikes!
    Enjoying these sketches, I’ll be looking at ice in a new way!

  8. Fascinated by your icey depictions. As a 90 year resident in California, I’ve seen very little snow even less ice so your descriptions are amazing to me. Good to hear frozen pipe was not major disaster although not one to be taken lightly. Well, think “sunny Italy” is just a few months away. Thanks for all your wonderful thoughts and drawings, I really appreciate and enjoy them

    • Thank you. You don’t know what you’re missing! Wish I could send you a few frozen crystals, but you will have to make do with sunny California and artwork instead. And, yes, Italy is closer by the day!

  9. Oh dear…. I’m glad to know the worst case scenario did not happen with your house and pipes! Thanks for always finding nature inspiring in every season and for sharing it with us! I can feel the coldness in your paintings — and in this case that’s a good thing! 🙂

  10. I am so sorry. Thank you for all your posts. I love to see them. You challenge me.

  11. Oh dear. Glad to know not too much damage.
    I love these sketches, they triggered memories of walking home from school and studying the edges of melting snowbanks. 🙂 When we really look at nature (have been listening to David Hockney expound on this), there is so much to be seen.

    • So true, Alison. I like your memory of walking home from school and looking at the edges of melting snowbanks. I was a “walker” in grade school, clamoring over snowbanks and slush were part of the journey.

  12. Poor you! Glad it wasn’t too much of a catastrophe overall. Love your painted ice studies, they’re beautiful!

  13. Fun sketches, Jean! Thank you for bringing some of the wintery weather inside. I have been housebound for several weeks and have been dying to go out for a walk, even in our frigid temperatures. My husband had to shovel a couple inches of snow yesterday, and I was so disappointed I couldn’t join him. Instead, I enjoyed a vicarious walk along your icy stream.

    Glad the burst pipe didn’t do any real damage!

  14. Oh Jean, not fair! You seem to have maintained your sense of humor throughout, though I wasn’t there to hear the words that came out when it happened. Good thing you were home! The sketchbook entries are wonderful. I hope it wasn’t too hard to get a plumber and everything’s more or less back to normal now. Warmer weather on the way?

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