There are some Maine residents that escape to warmer climates by December. They don’t like the cold and hate the snow. There are also many who were born and raised, or transplanted by choice, who may not love an overabundance of the snow, like that which covered us from January to April last year. However, we have certainly grown fond of Mother Nature’s blanket holding us captive in front of fires, celebrating a day off from school and freezing the pond for skating. Then, there are “the crazies” – those who love it. They dream of skiing while they sit on the beach. They count the days until the snow sled is allowed out of the garage. They even wait patiently to cut holes in the lake and sit all day on frozen water and call it fishing. For them, we are sorry that this year Thanksgiving was spent at the beach or golf course, Christmas should have been a BBQ and the Snow Sled Parade in northern Maine was an ATV extravaganza. For them, we are sharing a little reminder of, “when winter is white.”
Many will say, “If you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute.” This is funny. When this post began, lawns were almost green. Now, as the finishing touches are added and links are being put in, Maine has been covered by the wintery white stuff which we have been missing for most of the season. Finally, we are in it. Maine Art and our artists are thrilled with this. We love snow as much as we love the sun… or almost as much.
Craig Mooney, the master of the beachscape, is a skier in disguise; a snow bunny, not a snow bird. This is obvious in Snow Blanket, where he captures the quiet serenity and peace only a snow-covered landscape holds. Many locals would love to be trapped in the little cabin which sits so perfectly in Hidden Cabin.
Then there is Jill Valliere. This time of year she normally lives surrounded by a winter wonderland. Pieces like Carried Away and Catching the Drift are a beautiful representation of what is ordinarily her back yard. As February arrives, she is finally enjoying the beautiful bend of trees under this new-fallen snow and the crystal-coated branches which are often her inspiration.
Valliere is not the only one of our artists who finds beauty in the winter trees. Artist Susan Wahlrab captures the whitewashed branches with her unique watercolor technique. First Snow and Snowflake are both done on claybord and finished with varnish. The paths that she travels are familiar and mysterious at the same time. They capture you and bring out a desire to find your own winter walk in the woods.
Lastly, there is Jeffrey Fitzgerald’s Silver and Skyward Boys. These two hint to a cooler time and place. A place where the rocks, shells and sea life are in a sleepier spot to wait out the winter. The silver and blue whisper of winter, and bring us back to the coast of Maine during a time of year many others leave it behind. This place is a local place. It is the sunny day in February that often lures us back to the rocks for a just a few moments in the sun.
Our hope is not to jinx, but just to remind of the wonderland we call home. Mother Nature kept us waiting in anticipation, but has now decided to decorate Maine in a way we here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture are much more accustomed to this time of year. There is no way to know how much snow will come between now and spring. It will be welcome. Maybe not when we are shoveling it, but at least when we are sledding, skiing and walking through what we love about winter in Maine.
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