Saturday, November 30, 2013

Spring from a Distance

Spring from a Distance
12" x 9"

It was one of those days in early spring where the light is milky and the colors are softened by the moisture in the air. Mother Nature hadn't quite decided whether she was ready to let go of winter yet. Earlier that morning, it snowed on us as we tromped over muddy spots ringed with crunchy ice; the first blades of grass bravely pushing through a gooshy layer of last year's leaves. We found an old rusty lantern hanging off a fence post just before we turned around into the chilling wind and walked back to the car.

We were looking for a road we'd remembered we'd been on, but couldn't find. Clint thought it was one direction—I, another. We pulled over, and while he studied the map, I studied how collectively, all those little blades of grass actually looked very green from a distance. Instead of a few struggling blades here and there, they joined together to declare the promise of spring. The up-close view was still ruled by the earthy grays, browns, and rusts of winter. The long view, showed me spring.

With this watercolor painting, I wanted to capture that soft winter light and color. Generally I work more boldly, having long ago declared I would never paint in soft ethereal pastels—as was quite popular for a while. Some secret club mandated watercolors were to be whispery visions of roses and kittens. Thankfully that passed—along with only being able to buy rugs in mauve and baby blue.

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