The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Grand Basin in Forest Park (View location of my easel)
December 13--10am
"Thin Ice on the Grand Basin"
Oil   10x8
Inspiration and Design:
I was painting on location with the Missouri Plein Air Painters at the Grand Basin in Forest Park.  It was an overcast day with the temperature in the upper 40s.  A cold breeze made it feel much colder, however.  Below freezing temperatures (highs in the teens) had just abated, and thin ice remained on the stretches of calm water.  Seagulls were scattered across the basin, sometimes flying from one spot to another, but mostly just standing on the watery ice.  Their favorite spot to hang out was at the edges of the remaining ice, towards the open water where the working fountains disturbed the water surface.  The start and stop of ice was hard to distinguish, and this made the gulls appear to be walking on water.  How do Seagull feet not freeze?  Seeing the birds standing on the watery ice, it is impossible to not feel cold yourself.  My objective for this painting was the capture the cold and gray of the day.  The landscape before me was a smorgasbord of only light grays, including the gulls.  My palette consisted only of cool gray colors.  The warmest gray in the lot would not be considered warm in isolation.  It is only seen as warm when placed next to the cold grays.