I have come to accept that my watchword for this season seems to be 'subtle'. Everything I do art wise comes out this way, inviting close inspection to see the details, to 'get' the piece, but from a distance looking well toward the uninteresting side of things.

When I lived in Hancock County, further south than here, I thought that winter was quite subtle, especially on cloudy days. Everything was either some shade of brown or gray. So I craved the rare sunny day with its swash of bright blue, or those first twinges of yellow green in willow trees come February.

Here, in the cold, white north (and I'm not even that far north, there's a whole state and Canada between me and the North Pole), there's not so much subtlety. Just dark brown sticking out of white. I begin to understand fully why the houses in Quebec are brightly colored. The natural parts of the landscape here are either tree colored or they are white.

So I'm thinking I am missing the full range of subtle tones I used to see...and that's coming out in my art. Now I have to figure out a way to maintain that, but make the pieces attractive at a distance, too.

Meantime, here's a view of my unsubtle deck railing a few minutes ago:

That is all.


The Idaho Beauty said...

I really like subtlety in art, and have been striving for it in my own. But I know what you mean - a fine line between subtle and boring.

Somewhere recently I read that winter reduces all to black and white. It reminded me of the poem in the Moody Blues Song regarding day turning into night (something about stealing the colors from our sight).

I'm seeing pretty much what you're seeing right now. Yet a splash of yellow caught my eye yesterday - I don't know what they are, willow maybe, but there are trees along the lake that are suddenly yellow - the branches,, not foliage. The most startling thing to see when all color seems to have run away.

bj parady said...

It is weird, isn't it, that the tiniest bit of color we wouldn't notice in summer catches our eye against all this monotone...

And I've also come to realize that while there wasn't a lot of color in my old landscape, it wasn't monotone--there were rusty and golden grasses, deep green cedars. Now even the bright red roof of my neighbor's birdhouse is covered with white stuff.