John Singer Sargent sawed his brush off, too. I presume it was for the reason I cited: sometimes you need to saw off a brush to fit in your pocket.
It was critical observation that allowed Sir Isaac Newton to define gravity after watching an apple fall to the earth from a tree.
The boardwalk is floating over a bog. So it is a marsh below and surrounding the walkway…but it would easily swallow any brush, bag, or cell phone that happened to slip toward the edge.
It you feel the ice cold snow in your boots, you know you are in the right place. This is the mindset of a “plein air” painter.
And, just so we are clear…. she doesn’t draw anything…She “freehands” by holding the paper and the scissors in the air while looking at her subject.