Extreme plein-air painting

Check out these adventurous plein-air artists based in Minnesota. In the dead of winter, Mike Rada and Scott Lloyd Anderson like to paint and do a little ice fishing simultaneously. All looks well above, but Mike recounts a time when tragedy struck in the frozen tundra. He was trekking across a lake with his painting gear when suddenly he heard a loud crack and plunged through the ice.

Fortunately, his backpack caught on the ice and it stopped him from going totally under. Mike managed to crawl away on his stomach but his clothes were soaked. Determined to paint and still bring home the catch of the day, he shed his wet overalls and hung them out his car window until they were frozen solid. Then he slid the frigid duds over his dry clothes.

The icy overalls served as a top-notch windbreaker. “As long they’re frozen, you’re warm enough to paint,” Mike says. Read more about this intrepid duo and six other plein-air painters in the June issue of Southwest Art magazine.

—Bonnie Gangelhoff

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