Listening to Snow

TM9688 Listening to Snow 24×52 oil on panel

First snow is magic. In the city, noise is finally hushed. In the countryside, the gentle shshshsh of falling snow crystals is magnified. John Cage, if he were still alive, would understand. Brian Eno, I’m sure, still does. The question is how to depict the excitement of near silence. Listening to Snow is about that silence. Based on my favorite woodland walk to small pond, the painting has lively rhythms expressed through the tracery of snow-covered branches and young trees. The quiet is expressed through various gray tones and the quieting effect of snow (white and gray spatter) on the overall dynamic. While Eno and Cage encourage me to listen intently, the painting is also influenced by two other artists who wrestled with all-over pattern painting and chance – Sam Gilliam and Jackson Pollock. Their intuitive approach reminds me that nature is not a formula, and the more I can let chance and accident hold sway, the more the painting will, in itself, express the fundamental truth of what I see and hear. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9688 Listening to Snow – detail from right side with glimpse of pond through trees
TM9688 Listening to Snow – detail from left side
TM9688 Listening to Snow – detail from lower center

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