I’ve been missing the snow so much that I had to create a set of painting to get deep into the skiing feeling, the cold, the ice, the snow.
Not forgetting snowboarding but it doesn’t rhyme as well but they are there as well, blasting through the powder but then stuck on a flat spot of deep powder, whoops didn’t see that coming. Can’t see a bloody thing. Am I going up hill or down? On your butt, upside down in a hole of powder is the best guess.
The colourful paintings really capture the life, the vibrancy, the fun and laughter of skiing, the excitement, the exhilaration.
But what I was missing was not this. Over a year with no skiing. It wasn’t the fun, the speed, the laughter, the excitement I was craving. It was the early January ski weather, cold, bleak, so cold it can suck the colour out of even the most fluorescent ski jacket. Stone dead black and white, grey, freezing blues. Ice hangs in the air, full of crisp and frost. Breath plumes and mists across your face, fingers tingle, toes numb. Nothing to hear but the wisps of blowing snow, the wind in the trees the lulling clanking of the lifts in the distance and the pure silence of falling snowflakes.
Exiting the lift, the wind picks up, the snow blows hard, the ice pricks your cheeks, and all ahead is nothing to see but snow, heavy snow, blowing football size flakes dancing and melting on on the top of your nose, one way then another, swirling dancing and then melting on the end of your nose.
White fills the air and the ground, snow and mist and more some. Tracks covered, drifts crossing, only poles to follow one at a time. Going uphill or downhill it all feels the same with soft snow under feet. No idea where you are, moving or stationary, then bump and crash…..yep definitely was moving but not now. Now which way up am I? Ice and snow wedged up your top and down you trousers, inside gloves and down your boots.
Its an assault on the senses of the coldest and snowiest kind, cold creeping in from toes and fingers to chill to the core. So cold it blows right through you. Even the trees are shivering. Not sure why it feels so good, why I miss it so much but maybe it is the hot chocolate, coffee and or rum at the end of this piste , the anticipation, the imagination, which is creating the wonderful warm glow inside to keep me going.
Skis off, shake the snow off like a fluffy dog. Feet deep in powder and find the door to open, brushing the fresh snow with it and then into the warm glowing chalet, fire aglow and drinks awaiting at the bar. Thanks. Clothes off to warm and dry toasting by the log fire. Mine is a coffee, a large caupacino.
And all this talk over coffee is the anticipation of how much, how deep and will we be able to see a bit more in the afternoon as the clouds lift to peak the light of the sun and pale blue skis to allow a blast of turns through cold dry and fluffy pristine powder. More snow tomorrow they say.
Does it get any better?
Its all about a feeling not seeing, the inner feeling as snow obliterates the sights these paintings are trying to capture the bit you can’t see. Its all inside out feelings trump the seeing as you sense each turn as vision fails and turns guided by the feeling of the snow underfoot brings a special sensation, a very beautiful sensation. But that is as long as you don’t get a rude awakening and crash headfirst into a pile of cold, freezing cold powder.
This set of 10 very snowy ski prints and posters was my way to try and capture this immense and thrilling feeling of the cold, the snow, the bleakness to try and recreate that wonderful inner glow of the sheer beauty of a landscape devoid of colour dissolved by the coldness and made at peace by the endless snow fall descending silence to the slopes reflecting the beauty onto the inside where all resides and where feelings trump seeing. This set of paintings are all painted on 38cm x 46 cm heavy weight (290 gsqm) canvas linen texture paper with a white mount.
These are very simple charcoal and pen sketches to keep the simplicity of the scene where snow ice and mist prevails. Some people have called them sophisticated compared to my normal crazy colourful scenes, some called them stylish, even subtle……but I call them cold, dam cold, freezing, icy with the air full of snow and mist without a colour daring to peak out of the canvas to show itself.
Cult ski artist, Pete Caswell has been painting the Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche ski area and Zermatt this winter which are now available as ski prints and ski posters. You can also buy Pete’s ski art as original ski paintings off his main website. These 3 original paintings are all from Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche. There are many more paintings from Zermatt on the website also.
Pete fell in love with this amazing ski area especially Cervinia with its high snow sure peaks, fantastic Italian food and wonderful pockets of powder stashes.
Saalbach Hinterglemm ski art by cult ski artist Pete Caswell is now available from the very beautiful ski resort and ski circus of Saalbach Hinterglemm with some wonderul ski paintings of this stunning area.
You can see all of Pete Caswell’s ski art on his main website if you want to look at the originals ski art or you can buy ski prints and ski posters from the print site
Ski Art from Pete Caswell’s a cult skiing artist from the UK. He painting skiing art from all your favourite ski resorts around the world.
His artistic talents capture the feeling and movement and intense energy of skiing in the mountains, the snow and the sun. From chair lifts, to drags, cable cars and off piste, busy pistes and wooded pistes there is some ski art in there for everyone. Take a good look through the skiing art website and see all the amazing paintings.
You can buy the ski art as original ski paintings on the main website or as ski posters, prints and canvases through the print site.
One of my favourite places to ski in the USA is Aspen and I love the Alpine character of the scenery to remind me of my many ski trips to the Alps in France. I love the open feel to the mountains and the large open ski areas of Aspen especially through the woods but I do love the views of the Alps and when you combine this with the amazing skiing in Colorado then its is just Heavenly.
Pete has added Jackson Hole in Wyoming to his list of ski art for his artists collection of snowboard posters and snowboarder prints. They are a little on the more abstract side but great fun capturing the fun of this most famous of world renowned snowboard resorts.
Its a long time since I was in Jackson Hole and then only a brief visit but it has stayed in my mind ever since especially the Ariel Tram to Corbettes Cabin and Corbettes Couloir which I thought was just amazing and the stunts mind blowing.
The paintings are on the more abstract side where I have tried to capture my memories from that very special visit and capture the special feeling which I got on that trip to the USA.
The woods in the USA and the open mountains are a real treat for me as a snowboarder and the wonderful welcoming restaurants make for such a great visit.
This series of paintings, is all about a feeling, a quite incredible feeling. I am trying to get this wonderful feeling, a special moment in skiing across to you.
Its all about a trip to Argentiere near Chamonix, made all the more special by some well timed powder several years ago.
It started in the UK, car was packed and as soon as there was snow and a lift spinning I was off. As this was before I started obsessing with the ski forecasts this is not quite correct, I was desperate and I just went as soon as the lifts were due to open at the end of November and didn’t even think to check there was snow, I was just naïve.
A quick drive to Portsmouth from North Devon and a sleep on the Lounge floor of the ferry across to the port of L’Havre in the morning. A damp cold and chilly 6am start with engines running, the clanging of anchors and doors and off I went with GB plates in tow and headlights duly adjusted speeding across the French autoroutes. Whoops did I say speeding I meant driving at or below the speed limit.
At Max speed I drove across the motorways of Northern France as I closed in on Chamonix and thinking I had taken note of every speed camera and checked my speed carefully, it was not until I arrived in Chamonix I realised the endless 90kmph limit on the overhead gantries due to pollution really was the speed limit. Wow if only I had know sooner what a shame.
Coffee was called for on numerous occasions to keep the eyes open, but as usual this was pretty dreadful French coffee which seemed to assalut my taste buds, all too used to the USA version. So I kept trying hoping that at last one would turn out to be the beautiful taste sensation I was after. You can make up your own conclusions here.
Here is where it gets really special. I had not had the foresight to check the conditions only that this was the first day the lifts at Argentiere would be open so like many artists who can have their head stuck in the clouds, blind to the reality of the situation about to unfold, this was no different…….but wait, this is the one time in life when it unfolded the other way, Murphy’s law was defeated, really amazing, well almost perfect anyway.
As I crossed the White motorway, L’Autoroute Blanch, above Geneva, there was snow on the tree tops and snow even on the ground. I could feel the excitement inside. At least there should be snow there I thought?
As I drove on past Geneva and the customary boarder inspection singling out all dodgy unshaven young UK males in beat up old cars. They didn’t take kindly to my helpful words of explanation in French so with a lovely French grimace and wince, sent me on my way. I drove up through the wonderful approach to Chamonix past all your favourite names, Flaine, Morzine, Megeve, so many wonderful memories, so many evocative names and such wonderful mountains. It was beginning to cross my mind that there was indeed some snow, but the quality and quantity really had not sunk in.
I approached Chamonix at about 3pm, a little tired but totally elated by the stunning views and the mountain vibes and fbracing fresh air. For my first Chamonix experience, it just blew me away it was epic. As I approached the accommodation heading towards Argentiere further up the valley, I started to notice the snow was piled up higher than my car at the side of the road. This was what I loved, head height drifts at the roadside, so unbelievably exciting, like I was a child all over again.
The next few hours took a little turn downhill but not too much as the French hotelier showed me to the worst room in the totally empty hotel and so I consoled myself or rather couldn’t think of anything else but the powder, so I was oblivious and settled I. It took a while for my senses to adjust but the carpet was drenched with a puddle in the middle and a little stream running through the door. My head was so full of powder that I had barely noticed and this was a proper hotel not a mountain shack. So this lead to a lucky room upgrade out of the pokey leaking dingy loft room without a view to a lovely double room with a stunning view down to Chamonix. Breakfast turned out to be a bit disappointing with some terrible coffee, synthetic cheeses and wobbly ham so I skipped across to the bus with snowboard in hand. No skis today, just too much powder to leave a board behind. No sooner had I put my board down and a lovely English guy pulled up and took me up to Argentiere in a car more battered than mine.
So this is nearly where the paintings start. I had not done a start of season before and this was still in November and so everyone was just as excited as me waiting for the now replaced classic old cable car up to the top. There was no music but the atmosphere inside the tinny Gondola rocked like a ….yes a huge rock concert, a deafening one, but it was so crispy quiet except for the thumping of boots clanging on the metal gantries and the cable car floor. Steamy breath and excited hushed voices. It was so exciting it made for wobbly legs with all the adrenaline. As one of my first early season skis I had not quite realised that they might only have 2 or 3 lifts running, but in thigh deep and waist deep powder it was more than ample.
The place was epic, the atmosphere you could stir with a spoon and the snow would blow away in a light breeze……it was a cold smoke day. How had I missed this?
First day of the season, over a meter of fresh powder and blue sky……coffee was still terrible though. I set off up the first chair. Glancing around, everyone had powder skis or boards, this was a proper place to take on the powder. Despite my most careful preparations and being very fit, by 10.30am I was absolutely burned out, knackered in polite English. No queues, run after run in fresh deep powder, turn after turn of uninterrupted bliss, through the trees, over the rocks, the jumps and banks. Straight down, no tracking accross to find fresh tracks, they were everywhere.
Unbelievable, but my legs could not keep up. It was as if the legend of Chamonix, the history, the mountains had distilled and become super concentrated, poured into mountains of Argentiere and then had exploded into real life. I was on such a high, and not from the coffee, I thought I might pass out… But I got it under control with breakfast mk2 and with recovered legs set off again. By the end of the day I was totally done without barely a leg to move. The long bus queue and the not so good evening meal brought me back down to earth so I could sleep ready for the next day.
The 2 day weekend at Argentiere was probably the most atmosphere I could take anywhere and so on Monday with lifts closed until the next weekend I took a 6am drive through the Mt Blanc tunnel to stay at a historic old hotel where the powder days started all over again in Courmayeur. The Mt Blanc snow magnet just kept playing every day with plenty of blue stuff in between. Courmayeur in the early season with barely another person on the slopes made me feel like I was skiing in Heaven. Even the red and black pistes were virgin powder for days and the little dinky cable car to the top was resplendent with 2 guides as lift attendants to pick out the best line of descent back down. The coffee was unbelievable and at just half the cost of the French version and with a wonderful croissant thrown in, a beautiful smile and a little bit of pleasant chatter about the weather and I wasn’t sure if I was back in the UK or had gone to Heaven. The wonderful waitress woke me from my much needed morning nap and back to powder I was forced to go.
What was most wonderful about this trip was the rather quaint very ancient Italian hotel I had booked into, so friendly that when I was in my room half freezing to death I really did not want to bother them to turn up or turn on the heating. Eventually I got over my over timid polite Englishness and braved the reception to ask for more heat. When I saw the receptionist sat there with heavy coat, gloves, wooly hat and scarf on I realised it was a futile effort and returned to being wrapped up in Bed. It was such a wonderful stay, despite the cold weather indoors, as being the only guest I was summoned to the family meal table every evening to have a wonderful meal with the them and they took great delight hearing about Landrovers and the filming of All Creatures Great and Small which they were great fans of and had been filmed near the Family farm in the Yorkshire Dales.
Better still this Italian resort was still in early season, wonderful and quiet. So much so I though I was in 7th Heaven as not only was the off piste not touched but at 11am I was untroubled by my usual dilemma. Do I take a break at 10.30am and a much needed coffee ? Or will I return to the powder fields and find them trashed and tracked. No such worry here, not only was the off piste deserted, but I could even make fresh tracks down deserted black pistes…even after my morning coffee. Maybe I had found a little gap in the world where the normal rules didn’t apply… But my room was still like an ice cube so it didn’t cover everything.
Fun over and the trip part 1 was complete. Next was to dig the car out of 5 feet of snow for the 3rd time in a week and collect the family to head to Verbier. Destination a deserted little village at the bottom of a huge Cable Car leading up to the best off piste in the world with no queues on a powder morning ever. We were heading for some of the best off piste skiing I had ever skied and Heaven had followed us too….. and the room was toasty warm and so were the ski lockers and the floor…but that is another storey.
You can take a look at the current Original Ski Paintings for sale and they are listed by resort www.petecaswell.co.uk from £150. There are lots of chair lifts, drags lifts, cable cars, trees, peaks, mountains, pistes, cafes, drop offs, off piste, crowded pistes and just plain silly, but they all bring a smile to your face. You name it you will find it, but with Pete producing hundreds of Ski paintings over the years it may take you a while to find your favourite.
You can also see the paintings listed by price order here with the cheapest first. www.petecaswell.co.uk. There is lots of variety from some sensible neutral coloured paintings to some really crazy multicoloured abstract paintings capturing the moods of the mountains when you have some snow under the wood on your feet.
Please read Shipping info for International Print Site.
International Print Site (Back Catalogue) shipping information. If you are ordering from the UK and Europe please just order either canvas prints or unframed prints as these ship from UK/Europe. If you order a Framed print, currently most ship from Europe so is okay until Brexit end of Dec 2020). Some frames ship from USA. You can check where the order is shipping from in the final checkout where there is a flag next to each item and the shipping cost before you have to pay. Do check the flags at checkout as the frames shipping countries do change. If you live in the USA everything ships from the USA so no problems for USA clients. Go to the International Print Site which is operated by Fine Art America
Currently frames in the most popular list 1,3,5,6,and also white ship from Europe and also Metal Prints. If you live in the EU & UK please do not be tempted to order anything shipped from USA. Its a super site and a great printer which has served me well as long as you check the shipping.
There are lots of chair lifts, drags lifts, cable cars, trees, peaks, mountains, pistes, cafes, drop offs, off piste, crowded pistes and just plain silly, but they all bring a smile to your face. You name it you will find it, but with Pete producing hundreds of Ski paintings over the years it may take you a while to find your favourite.