December 11, 2011

A Walk in the Woods: The Artistry of Snow

The snow that fell on Thursday is still clinging to limb and twig. When I walked through the woods on Friday, the world was transformed: every dark branch was outlined in white, as though to emphasize its movement through space.

The snow was a thoughtful artist, adding a thick line here, a thinner one there, in order to balance the drawing in its lights and darks. And like all good art, it made me more aware, more alert to the shifts of overlapping lines, to their subtle changes in direction, to their relationships.

At times the style changed, from a more classical rendering of ordered space to an all-over pattern, like the work of Jackson Pollock or Milton Resnick.

Or there was an emphasis on graceful flowing lines, as beautiful and fresh and simple as any line drawing by Matisse.

Looking closer, I saw the crystalline snow delicately balanced on an arching branch, catching droplets of light,

and patches of white clung expressively to the only warm color left in the white and gray and brown woods.


  1. Beautiful post... I love snow, we had our big October storm, now mostly cold and frosty, but not much more than a dusting now and then.

  2. thank you, Valerianna and chris. I'm glad you like this post.

  3. This is a really beautiful set of photographs, with rather funny and apt captions to go with each... I love the idea of Nature as Pollock,Resnick, Matisse....thank you!!

  4. So pretty...
    "The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place." -Zen

  5. You always tell me about how to look at things in a different way. I love snow. I see the different ways it enhances an area. I would never know how to explain it like this. Lovely.

  6. I did enjoy playing with the imagery of snow as artist and I'm pleased that you enjoyed it, Ann and Lisa.
    john, thank you for that lovely quote.

  7. ..."the only warm color left"...Isn't it wonderful the way the beech and oak hold their leaves for so long? They keep calling, 'remember, remember' and prove to us over and over what a joy the sunlight brings. 'Look, look closer, I am still here.' Consciousness reaching out to consciousness. 'I need to sleep now, and you too need to rest. We will see each other with new eyes when we awaken.'

  8. thank you for the poetic musing, john.