Cape Cod Winter, mixed media on board, 12”x12”
I’ve been a San Franciscan for more than 20 years, but there’s snow in my past – a lot of snow. Life started in Buffalo, and then Cape Cod with stints in Boston, Illinois and the snowiest city in Switzerland. Suffice to say; I know snow. Now my life is different and virtually snow free. Snow is something I see when driving over a mountain pass. Recently, it was a morning drive over the mountains into Death Valley. Snow on the sagebrush – very pretty – look out the window and just turn up the car’s heat.
I’ve had a long fascination with snow in painting. I saw the Impressionists in Winter: Effets de Neige show that came through San Francisco in 1999 four times. I still find it remarkable how one could start feeling cold just by looking at a painting. Painting snow can be intimidating, but I wanted to capture it for the Collagescape Series.
Cape Cod has many winters with little or no snow, but every once in a while there is a “real” winter like the one that is happening this year. I sought to capture the various shades of white and shadow on the snow. The bright whites after the sun comes out as well as the blues and grays. Snow mixed with glimpses of bare branches, golden beach and marsh grass, the gray of weathered cedar shingles and snow fences. Fences that usually attempt to hold dunes in place instead of snowdrifts. After I finished the piece I realized the grid pattern I used added more unintended Cape Cod references. For example, the pattern is a nod to the shingles and picket fences as well as the small windowpanes so common on Cape Cod houses.
The snow will have long since melted when this piece is included in my Collagescape show opening in August.