Last night it began snowing big fluffy flakes that Bootsy the cat decided were pretty fantastic. She ran down the snow covered steps, jumped and pawed at the white stuff, did a couple of pirouettes – and then raced at top speed across the yard into the back ‘woods’. My neighbor’s woods, the ones I’ve been painting.
After a couple of hours outside in the cold, the cat decided that was enough wintry mix until this morning, when she went out to explore the sleet covered crusted snow. I’ve never had a cat who liked snow, but maybe that’s because my most recent were southern bred felines. The kitten waits out winter inside the house, getting cabin fever.
I love to paint snow landscapes, but today was overcast with none of the dramatic shadows that I ordinarily prefer. The American painter John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) made do without them, getting dramatic results despite a lack of high chroma. I remember seeing his ‘Along the River, Winter’ painting with my mother, soon after I moved to Atlanta in the mid 1970’s. He was a favorite of hers.
John Twachtman. “Along the River, Winter” 1889. High Museum of Art.
John Twachtman. “Round Hill Road” 1890-1900. Smithsonian American Art Museum.
John Twachtman. “Winter Landscape” 1890-1900.
Childe Hassam, another of my mother’s favorite American Impressionists, verged on the abstract in some of his snow scenes.
Childe Hassam. “Snowstorm, Madison Square” 1890. Peabody Art Collection.
Childe Hassam. “A City Fairyland” 1886. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Childe Hassam. “Winter Midnight” 1894. Columbus Museum of Art.
After a slow day of gessoing canvas panels, it’s back to painting in the studio tomorrow.