Art of Winter: Part Two

The Art of Winter : Part Two

January
by Jane Runyeon

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer
will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.

- John Burroughs

It's mid day with clouds and intermittent sunshine. The snow is settled from last nights storm and is icy on top.  .  I take a quick overview of the forest as I decide our path. Beyond the sheer beauty I take note of  the immense silence that is broken by my boots and unleashing my hunting dog, Meadow Lark. 

 

The Fox Hunt 
by Winslow Homer

1893

Caught mid-leap in the foreground,
and almost abstracted in quite a striking way,
is a nimble fox treading through deep snow.
Shadowy crows loom in the top right area of the painting,
“hunting” the fox.

Did you know that this winter landscape 
is the largest painting that Winslow Homer ever completed?
It is also thought by many critics to be the artist’s
masterpiece featured at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

This painting always resonated with me,
 drawing me to visit the PAFA often.

Winter Landscape 
by Vassily Kandinsky

1909

Both the landscape and sky are a confetti of color , such a refreshing take on winter!
Russian fairytales inspired  Kandinsky's early  work. 
The golden glow of the house at the end of the lane looks like the perfect dreamy destination .

How DELICIOUS!
How MAGICAL!

The Magpie
by Claude Monet

1869

Winter naturally makes us feel isolated, alone ( this Covid year multipy times 100)
just like the little magpie sitting on that crooked gate.  The soft hued palette and texture of Monet’s landscape reminds us
to find the glory , beauty, wonder and solstice .


"And the sky is a hazy shade of winter"  
-Paul Simon

Breton Village in the Snow 
by Paul Gauguin

1894

The rounded and simplified shapes of the  architecture
 soften the composition and narrative of this snowy cityscape.
There are no signs of life, no chimney smoke
and yet this painting feels so cozy, inviting and calm.

The warm strokes of yellow in the foreground  and
in the sky further that feeling of warmth and intimacy.

Winter Sunset 
by Birge Harrison
1890

In his 1909 book, Landscape Painting
Birge Harrison describes color as “dancing” in nature.
The artist was especially fascinated with the subtle colors
that suffuse a winter landscape.
His snow paintings, of which there are many,
highlight this love of opalescent color.
In this painting, Harrison painted the pinks and purples of a winter sunset
reflected in the broken ice of an expansive body of water.
According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum,
“the dark boats trapped by the frozen water and the pale colors
evoke an environment that is both harsh and beautiful.”
The melancholy is juxtaposed with a glorious pink sunset.
Emotionally mirroring this moment 2021.

Contemporary artists like
 Simon Beck
actually use snow and ice as their medium,
using the ephemeral qualities inherent of water below 32 degrees.
 


Polar Plunge 
by Jane Runyeon 

I have only ever been an observer of the January 1 polar tradition.
The reflections on the ice, snow and water inspired this painting on wood 12" x 20"
 
Enjoy the following selected artworks

I love these paintings SNOW MUCH !
 

Winter Morning
Photograph by Bethany Daigle