Um, d’ya think there might be a bull in this field? says I, wondering why there are cows to the east of us and cows to the west, but none in the vicinity of the suspiciously sturdy fence we’re parked beside. My intrepid painting partner, the talented Verna Vogel, just glances at me.
There might be, she allows, swinging her leg over the top strand of barbed wire. But the view will be better from over there.
Um, says I, noticing a handsome and very, very large bovine form slowly approaching up the hill, d’ya think that might be the bull?
Here’s the view from outside the fence.
It took me a while to figure out why my charcoal pencil was sort of skidding, though my rapidly stiffening fingers should have clued me in: my gouache, which is a water-based paint similar to watercolour, was freezing on the paper. But we were too, and it was snowing, so I didn’t have to decide what to do about that, other than stop. We sat out a blizzard in the car, warming our hands around cups of potato-leek and cumin-scented lentil soup from our thermoses. Bliss.