The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Nims Mansion in Bee Tree Park (Oakville, MO) (View location of my easel)
February 12--9am
"Snowy Morning at the Captain's Mansion"
Watercolor   11x14
Inspiration and Design: View subject
I was painting with the Missouri Plein Air Painters.  It was mid-morning, and a snowstorm was bearing down on the landscape.  The photo of the scene does not nearly portray the vigor of the falling precipitation.  While entirely unexpected, the snow was welcomed by the painters.  My vantage point was looking northeast, slightly south and west of the Nims Mansion.  The home is now uninhabited, but it was originally the estate of a wealthy riverboat captain.  The mansion sits at the top of the river bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River.  The wind was blowing strongly.  To keep the snow from spoiling my watercolor painting, I set up my easel close to a large oak tree, opposite the wind.  Despite this protection, each new watercolor passage froze on my palette.  My goal for this painting was to depict my response to the stately mansion in a snowstorm.  As I was standing in a cold snowstorm, I was surprised by the abundance of warm color in the landscape.  The sky was a warm gray-brown, and it influenced the snow-covered ground in that direction as well.  Additionally, the wet yellow-brown stonework added abundant warm color.  I also noticed a large amount of value contrast in the scene.  The structure was a large dark shape in a sea of white.