This morning I awoke to what has been a rare sight the past couple of months: bright sun and blue sky. The slanting early morning sunlight played over the snow, picking up the sparkle of flakes, while grand shadow-shapes marched across the white expanse.
Linear shadows sweep over the curved ground, and gently follow the arc of the distant pond.
Shadows of transportation.
Straight lines of cast shadows meet the curving lines of my snowshoe tracks, which encircle the berry patch. There is no better illustration of the cool color of cast shadows than early morning shadows on snow, when the blue is vividly blue and unmistakable.
Claude Monet, Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun), 1891; oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 36 1/4 in.
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.
It was the Impressionists who taught us to see light and color in this way, with cool cast shadows and warm reflected light. Oh, it was there in the world before they painted it, but did anyone see it before? How much do we have to know before we see?