Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Passage

This time of year holds so much promise. 

The earth revolves to meet the sun each morning just a little bit earlier, and holds on just a little bit longer before it cedes to darkness.

The smallest branches high in bare trees accept color now from light freed of the frozen pull of winter.

Migratory birds begin to feel an ancient desire for flight, with promises to linger over fertile farmland here in mid-country. They have passed through here far longer than we have laid claim to boundaries and titles.

As I take refuge from brittle cold outside I feel these things.  We artists paint what we know, and I know that winter is a necessary pause from the wild growth of summer. It is a pause before the raucous call of the sandhill crane, kestrel and sharp-eyed hawk as they find refuge and food in the shallows of the Platte River. 

Winter is also a necessary pause, for me at least, from the habits and rituals of the past season.

I've noticed this feeling in the past; the slow movement at this time of year toward some sort of change.

This fallow season is when I too seem to pass through a sort of grace period, a recognition of old habits and an awakening to something that's been there all along but hidden, much like last years' summer vegetation now covered in snow. 

This painting is a celebration of the cool side of the color wheel; chill blues and violets, and cooler versions of the opposing orange and yellow. A relief from the intense greens and blues of summer painting.  As with the solstice, it's a turning point of sorts, an exploration of new ways of laying down paint and scraping it back, balancing marks from intuition and forethought. Like early sun on a winter landscape I feel a warming, a freshening of my course.   

No comments: