Friday, January 23, 2009
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 www.pbase.com/duke1938