Listen to the interview with Matt Kania
SILVER CITY – It was a cold and rainy weekend for viewing fall colors in the Upper Peninsula but one Minnesota couple took it in stride.
The two from Duluth bundled up and stood on the edge above Lake of the Clouds at Porcupine Mountain State Park to paint the fall scene before them despite cold winds and even falling snow. Artist Matt Kania said they enjoy painting outdoors. It’s called Plein Air painting.
“Painting on location is the most exciting and true way of representing a landscape,” Kania said. “When you are on location you are exposed to the actual light, the actual colors and the actual conditions. So you try to build how you felt at that location into your painting.”
En Plein Air is French for “in the open air.” The colors Sunday were definitely muted. Temperatures where in the low 30s and a few flakes of snow fell as they painted. Kania joked that the cold makes them work faster. The pair were bundled up to ward off the U.P. weather.
Kania and his wife Lori first spent some time at Lake of the Clouds when they met 27 years ago. They enjoy painting scenes along Lake Superior but especially like the Porcupine Mountains. Visitors at the park often stop to take their picture as they work on the paintings.
“That’s part of plein air painting,” said Kania. “It’s a performance art.”
Despite the overcast conditions over the weekend, Kania says this year’s fall colors were beautiful. But on this day, he would yell a warning to his wife when another gust of wind would come up that might topple the tripods that hold their paintings.
The paintings will eventually end up in Kania’s gallery in Duluth.