Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bunny in Winter Fog

There was a lot of fog here last week. And snow last month. Here in the heart of winter I want to paint the feeling of isolation that settles in our hearts and homes. I am not really blue. Winter, here in my world, is peaceful. There is beauty in the bareness of things.

This painting is called "Solitude" and is 9"x12" oil on panel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter Nest

Just north of Seattle, in the Skagit Valley, is an area of swampy grassland shared in the early winter by migrating snow geese and trumpeter swans. The sight of hundreds of these large white animals is breathtaking. The swans, though fewer than the geese, are huge and impossibly white against the brown landscape.

This painting is a visual interpretation of how I feel this winter. I leave the house as seldom as possible. I turn on the gas fire, fluff up the couch cushions and watch videos with my children. I am nesting. Outside it starts to become dark at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The sun feels absent as it creeps sluggishly across the horizon, hidden behind a smothering felt of clouds and everything in the garden seems grey or brown. Like the swan in my painting, I am keeping a wary eye open for dangers like the winter blues, that creep up on folks this time of year and sap us of our joie de vivre.

So far both the swan and I are safe in our nests. The landscape, while cold, is beautiful. We are waiting.

There are some wonderful photos of these swans and snow geese at

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beauty Berry

I cannot walk past a Callicarpa this time of year without stopping to smile. Relentlessly cheerful, kind of goofy, the startlingly purple berries are a tonic on these dark grey days. I want one in my own garden! Fortunately Swanson's says they will have them bare root next month.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Day

Henry and I harvested our potatoes and carrots on New Year's Day. Funny to think that a week ago the ground was frozen and under snow. It felt good getting rid of slimy leaves and stems from the devastated annuals and I felt a little guilty, knowing that by comparison, our friends and family in Eastern Canada will have to wait months for the ground to thaw. The climate is so forgiving here in Seattle. Today I hope to get my autumn bulbs planted!
Happy New year!