Two things happen for me, and in my work, virtually every late winter and early spring. My colors get brighter, and I visit my favorite places in the nearby woods--south-facing slopes where the strengthening sunlight rakes the forest with light and shadows.
The colors in my paintings get brighter throughout every winter, as I long for the saturated hues that the returning light and eventual thaw and new growth will bring. Often I ignore true color entirely, allowing myself to fantasize that the land itself is dreaming boldly of a surreal, riotous spring. At the very least, I exaggerate the strengths of the shadows and the colors in the trees of the boreal forest.
One place I find myself, floundering in still-deep snow, nearly every spring is the south-tilting hillside of beautiful woods just below the University of Alaska Museum of the North, on the West Ridge of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. I must have made a couple of dozen paintings, over the last 30 years, within a 100-yard radius of this very spot. And so again this year, I am struck by and need to pay homage to the beauty of that hillside, those woods, and the clear light of the North.