Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowy Woodpile

Copyright 2009 Hannah Phelps
7.25" x 9.75"
oil on masonite

After receiving over 10" of snow from yesterday's "monster storm," I couldn't help myself-I had to go cross-country skiing. Soon, I will be driving to the mountains to enjoy the groomed trails in Waterville Valley, but today I just went to a local trail along the Piscataquog River. I was relieved that some industrious skier had been there before me and blazed some tracks. Since I stayed in town, I brought Hatrick, my golden retriever, with me so she could play in the new snow too.

Donning my skis for the first time this season felt like calling a good friend I hadn't spoken with in a while. Last winter, skiing became a refuge for me as some pretty fierce personal challenges gathered and loomed over me. When the snow melted in the spring, I was hoping that my troubles would go with it. They didn't and the spring and summer of 2009 proved to be the worst seasons of my life.

Now my world is once again covered in snow. For the artist, this means simplified shapes in wooded scenes and vivid blues and purples where there are usually browns and greens, as in the painting above. For the person, it means mentally shelving the last year to make room for the new, better times ahead.

There are only eleven more days of increasing darkness before the solstice. I am ready for more light, and not just so I can ski later each day.

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