ross ryan

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24/1/13, PAJALAVAGEN, 0100HRS MINUS 29, SWEDISH ARCTIC, OIL ON CANVAS 40X50 CM

Preparing for painting this evening was no mean feat. Snow boots felt lined, 5 pairs of thermal socks, 3 sets of thermal underwear, one bright orange down jacket and 4 pairs of gloves tucked under huge flipper like mittens. All the above was then encased in a one piece quilted winter suit. I was barely able to get out of the cabin. I returned back over the Swedish boarder. I am charmed to be able to leave one country after dinner, pop into another and returning again when painting is complete. Tonight the snow felt like walking on sheets of huge tuc biscuits as it gave way under my boots. The moon now nearing completion catapulted light back from the snow, casting a world of indigo all around with just the occasional star penetrating the thick blanket. This environment, though utterly stunning, provoked some kind of instinctual fear which made me realize I was now taking risks painting alone here on this baltic night of minus 29. Many of the paints became stiff, some failed but the majority fatefully continued with their duty. Twice focus was halted by my mother calling, dragging me into another world.


“Ross what about the polar bears?”


I explained they did not live in mainland continental Europe, but she was unconvinced in voice. I am sorry to be a continuing headache for my folks. There was relief after completing this frozen moment in these trying but slightly addictive conditions. On return to the cabin I was left in agony as the heated floor played havoc with my chilblains.