Heading South!

At last we are on our way south to the mountains of the Deep South. I have been waiting since my return from Croiseilles Harbour for the snow to arrive. Last month the winter weather arrived. The weather report said much snow down to lake level. Unfortunately it was accompanied by gales and blizzards. When that past they had weeks of wind, rain and fog. Finally the forecast is for a week of settled weather. Just in time for the school holidays and skiing, and also for landscape painters.

Max and I will head off from Nelson on Wednesday for Ashburton. We will spend the night there and the next day, depending on the sun  and cloud cover we will either head up the Erewhon Valley towards Erewhon Peak, or continue south. We will wait at Invercargill for the weather to settle and head up to the Mavora Lakes. I’ve never been there before. The purpose of this trip is to find new subjects. I have never been to Erewhon either.

We will have several days to look for interesting views before returning home. Generally the best light for painting the Southern Alps is in the morning.  That means trying to do the big travel miles in the afternoon, and setting out to paint the next morning. By early afternoon in winter the sun has dropped low behind the hills so it’s time to pack up and travel on.

There are literally hundreds of wonderful subjects from Manapouri to Tekapo on the East side of the Alps. Of course there is a life time of study if you include the West Coast. Sigh. I just don’t have those years left. We will have to see what the next fortnight brings.