I think my next solo exhibition--at New Horizons Gallery in Fairbanks in November--may all be images of snowfall. When it snowed briefly here in La Conner in February, I went immediately to my studio and painted a small watercolor of the entrance to the Swinomish Channel through snow flurries filling the air. As I wrote when I put that image up on this site, I've never failed to be excited by seeing the landscape through a screen of snow, and it's something I've wanted to paint for years. I was encouraged by that little experiment and decided to tackle an image I've wanted to paint for some time now--Mt. McKinley in the fall, seen through a curtain of falling snow. I spend at least a week, often longer, in Denali National Park every summer, and early September is my favorite time. Two summers ago, I had to leave earlier than I expected when it started to snow hard the first week of September, and I was worried that if I didn't get out, I wouldn't get my car back over Polychrome and Sable Passes before spring. The fall color was still bright in the lowlands, and the view of The Mountain through a scrim of softly drifting snowflakes was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
It often takes a long time for images like this one, seared into my consciousness, to find their way to paper or canvas. I don't know why, but it takes a while for them to settle into a place from which I can make an image that captures in some meaningful way my experience. This large watercolor not only brought back that day and beautiful sight, but I'm hoping showed me a way into a host of other images of falling snow that I've banked in my memory. I'm looking forward to months of remembering and exploring them in my work.