Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beating Back Winter

Winter has closed in with a vengeance. The temps are bitter and the snow is getting deeper. We venture out for walks bundled up in our bulky and ridiculous insulated clothing with scarves wrapped around our faces to prevent frost bite. The arctic air stings our eyes making them water. Our dog Koda, whose coat is luxuriously thick, revels in the season. She frequently demonstrates the bracing Scandinavian way of celebrating winter by rubbing her body in an icy white bath. It's so cold that the snow squeaks under foot. During our walks Koda stops often to chew off ice balls that stick between the pads of her feet. As we pass our neighbors' homes their chimneys steadily puff up clouds of smoke from wood stoves and furnaces. Some days the clouds linger in the air but on windy days the fierce winds blow the exhaust away like smoke from a speeding freight train.
What is a painter to do when the scenery provided is mostly white with blue shadows?..or just shades of gray on overcast days? Some painters continue to work outside with kindred spirits who share the challenge of plien air painting in all conditions. It's not for me. I've paid my dues working outside in the four seasons during my earlier life..a comfortable studio is my reward.
The desk is cleaned off and there are prepared canvases and panels asking the question..what next?
I wonder too....

These photos were taken the day after our last big storm.