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Fresh off the Easel: "Winter Sonata"

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Snow abounds in much of the country, especially here in Southeast Michigan. As I explain to my art collectors, "I paint what I hike, and I paint what I ski." Winter introduces simple beauty to the landscape, where the details of the foliage and earth give way to shadows of blue and purple, and sparkles of brilliance.

"Winter's Sonata" was inspired by a cross-country ski jaunt to Sandra Richardson Park in York Township, Michigan. This 9x12 pastel brings forth the boldness and the softness of the winter landscape.

Snowy landscape
Winter Sonata

While out on the ski trails, if I listen closely, I might hear a single bird's chirp, and nothing more. There can be incredible silence in the woods following a heavy snow storm. Upon the accumulation of an eight inch fresh coat of snow, I took my skis and my camera (leaving my dog at home to his great dismay), and headed off to the trails.

Below are a sampling of the 120 photo's I took on this early Saturday morning, when the sky was a dark, rich blue, and the sun, barely above the horizon, was able to cast its orange glow across the ripples of snow drifts, and seemingly toss sparkling diamonds across the blanket of an untouched winter's blanket.

Ski tracks and powdered sugar! By the end of the day, much of the snow clinging to the branches had fallen to the ground. I'm glad I got the chance to take these photos earlier today.

Feel free to share your landscape photos with me! You might inspire a new painting or at least a conversation about a wonderful place to visit. I recently joined Reddit communities on hiking and skiing, as those are my favorite pastimes that provide so much material for my paintings. There is so much of the world to see!

Here are other updates this early February:

This winter, the McCord Gallery in Palos Park, IL., featured my award-winning "Winter's Breath" on the cover of their winter workshop guide. McCord hosted the Chicago Pastel Painters National Show this past October.

If you are in Douglas, MI on the weekend of February 19th, visit Mr. Miller's Art Emporium during the Gallery Stroll. Several of my landscape pastel paintings are available. You can also find them in my online shop and on Daily Paintworks, ETSY and Zatista. My online shop now offers prints as well as originals and framed originals.

I've also been busy lately working on my April and June online workshops. I miss teaching at local art centers, so I decided to host my own demo's and lessons. "Clarity of Light" is my first workshop, inspired by my upcoming landscape painting award that will be featured in the Pastel 100 journal.

Getting back to nature and landscapes, please make it a daily routine to visit the beauty and little surprises that the landscape offers. As Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, "Nature always wears the color of the spirit."

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