Painting in the Georgia Summer Heat

It’s no secret that the summers have gotten warmer globally, but we’re feeling it this summer in the American South. I live south of Atlanta, summer heat started in April and has been about the same temperature — low to mid 90s F with high humidity — for through July. We usually maintain summer levels of heat through October and even November. Sometimes, that heat and humidity culminates in a good old-fashioned thunderstorm, usually around late afternoon.

It’s beautiful weather, but it’s brutal for anyone doing anything outdoors. When I did the Hood Street Art Gallery’s Plein Air Paint-Off in May earlier this year, I ended up dehydrated and horribly burned. So you can imagine how early August feels. Even with air conditioning, if you don’t have access to a swimming pool, lake, or beach, it’s a miserable season.

Which is why I’ve moved my art space indoors. I usually do the bulk of my work in the garage. It’s my makeshift studio, after all, and there’s room for canvas building, paint pouring, woodworking, resin art, etc. I get natural sunlight, and I don’t have my cats wandering in to interrupt me. Indoors, it’s different. I’m painting in a much smaller space, dealing with inevitable cat hair creeping into my painting, and squeezing in the camera equipment for filming. It’s definitely a change. but, the cool air is nice. I’m making do with less sunlight, digging out the stray cat hairs, and getting more done without worrying about flies or other insects. I think, too, that I’m inspired to take more time with my paintings.

Work in progress at my desk indoors. I have less space, but it’s a much better option than being outside right now.

As I’ve mentioned before, I get dehydrated very easily, have chronic back pain, and am chronically anemic. Working indoors helps me mitigate the side effects that come from any kind of prolonged work in the heat.

There’ll be updates once I finish my current work in progress. Hopefully it’ll be on par with the paintings I’ve done in my garage studio space.


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