Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Wonder of Snow

Its official, I hate winter. We were under a constant cloud of snow for days, now we are in a deep freeze of minus 30 degrees C!  On top of that, when things warm up, it is supposed to snow again.  I agree that from the vantage point inside a warm house, looking out one’s window and sipping a hot drink; the scenery is breathtaking. But it is quite a different kettle of fish if one is stranded in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, in a disabled vehicle in a blinding snow storm. I have already been out for a couple of solitary skis’ and I don’t mind being by myself in the bush at any time of the year. It can actually be peaceful or epiphamic, depending on the journey.

When I look out my frosted kitchen window and notice each intricate delicate pattern of an ice crystal or snowflake, I want to capture it; either in the early dawn of golden sunlight, or the waning light of tinted blue.

Each crystal is miraculously different or unique in pattern and design.
However, these equally beautiful snowflakes are deadly when multiplied in the thousands coming down in heavy flurries, high winds and virtually zero visibility.

That is nature, the delicate balance of beauty and deadliness that reminds me just how small and insignificant we humans truly are. 

 When I was stranded in a terrible snowstorm on a closed highway, I felt terrified and alone. I depended on the kindness of strangers to get me through. I had been feeling since then, that I didn’t matter; that I am an insignificant speck, ready to be snuffed out of existence. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book Wherever You Go There You Are states, “We resonate with one another’s sorrows because we are interconnected.” (pg.162). His premise of practising love and kindness uncovers “what is always present...usually our ability to touch them, and be touched by them lies below our fears and hurts, below our greed and our hatreds, below our desperate clinging to the illusions that we are truly separate and alone. By invoking such feelings in our practice we are stretching against the edges of our own ignorance...and in the stretching, painful as it sometimes is, we expand, we grow, we change ourselves, we change the world.” (Ibid, pg.167-168).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sketches in Progress

I'm afraid I've fallen behind with my posts.  Life has a way of doing that.  With the end of the year approaching and the holiday season, things tend to get busier especially at work.  I’m inclined to be a slow painter anyway, but trying to get back into a routine of sorts.

While the snow is falling heavily outside, I find as much time as possible to spend in my studio working on new sketches.

Sketches are the building blocks for the finished product.  

They are the vehicle to the creative process, getting the juices going.  These are a few ideas that I’m working on now.