As an artist who paints in watercolors, pastels and acrylics, I have always enjoyed painting winter scenes. I base them on my own memories as well as those of my children and grandchildren. I have found that people who purchase my paintings, like to look back in time to those innocent and carefree days in their lives. It is a joy to work with winter whites and interject soft and warm pastel colors, which add to the playfulness of a winter landscape. We know that winter can be cold and bitter sometimes, but I like to dwell on the magic spell it casts.
Paintings with children skating and playing on an icy rink, in the country, near grandma’s farm, lend to the nostalgia. When I paint, my mind travels to that particular scene and I am once again playing with my brothers and friends, or watching my children do the same. Sleighriding on a starry night, skating on a small winter pond, skiing down our small farm hillside, or playing in the soft white snow that is just right for a snowman, were all a part of my happy winter days as a child.
After a fresh snowfall, on those days when the air was still and somewhat warmer, I would like to hike across the field to the dense woods, which were so silent and white, that it seemed almost like a cathedral. The boughs of the evergreens would be drooping from the fresh snow, that sparkled like diamonds, and the only sound heard in the quiet woods, was the distant screeching of a bluejay. Often, there would be fresh rabbit tracks left by our furry friend, as he headed to his winter shelter.
After playing outside for a while, it was a special treat to go indoors, where the warmth of our wood stove made our house a cozy home. We would put our snowy mittens on the oven door to dry out while we enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa, topped by a floating marshmallow. In those days, we made cocoa with a teaspoon of Hershey’s cocoa, some sugar, hot milk and a dash of vanilla. Hmmm!! It was so good. Our little hound dog, Laddie would settle under the stove’s belly, where he liked to spend the evening near family.
Yes, it is true that I love to create and share nostalgic winter scenes with others because in doing them, I can mentally return to the days of my youth and the simple times of the so called “olden days”. They should instead be called the golden days because they were free of any worries and we were secure in the circle of a loving family. Pastels are my favorite medium to paint winter or landscapes in, because of their softness and wide range of beautiful colors to choose from. They also are very permanent, if handled with care, and they do not fade, as watercolors sometimes tend to do when placed in direct sunlight over time. However, watercolor is my next favorite means of expression because the free flowing color will travel on a path of water and work it’s magic. Happy accidents can put new sparkle to a painting that tends to be too controlled. Whatever tool a person uses to create an artwork, is an expession of themselves and the emotion within. I would urge you to try and do a painting and release your creative self, just for fun. I know you can do it.
Soon we will have that first snowfall of the season, now that those golden days of autumn have dwindled, and the soft fallen snow will weave it’s magic upon the barren earth and the circle of seasons moves along.
To see more artwork, feel free to contact Lenore at [email protected] or call 651-331-6370 for appointment.