Today, the temperature is 9 degrees. I look out my windows and see frozen snow at least 12″ high.


It’s very still and quiet… no wind blowing. No people walking dogs. I am inside at my desk typing away with my favorite throw over my legs. My small electric heater stands by, should my fingers or toes turn white or become numb. It seems this winter started early and will go on, and on, and on.

Some might say this is a gift to an artist or writer, a consummate reader or any contemplative sort. The winter is time to create without distractions; it’s a time to ruminate about life. If you’re the hardy type (born and bred in Wisconsin) it’s also the time for outdoor activities, skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, et al. One friend of mine even plows through the ice and snow on his bicycle! He says, “just put on another layer.”

I however, can do without the cold and the snow. I was born in Chicago and was raised in a large apartment building on a street, chock-a-block with other buildings and small homes. My parents didn’t indulge in any winter sports and I honestly don’t remember having or making the opportunity to be out in the snow much. I do remember making a snowman with my father once, but I don’t think it was a regular part of our winter activities. Oh yes, I just recall sledding down a steep hill and being really afraid – of what? I don’t know. Maybe falling off the sled or being alone when I reached the ground. As I grew older, I never chose to partake in winter sports.

Hothouse Flower

Hothouse Flower

I became what is called a “hothouse flower,” one that grows indoors no matter the season. It is for this reason that I do appreciate my time to read, write, paint, cook and cogitate. I’ve painted snow scenes a few times, but in January this year, I finished one piece in colors not usually on my palette, which I call “Hothouse Flower.” Actually, another good friend suggested the name since she knew I referred to myself as a “hothouse flower.”

There’s no real way to describe how this painting came into being. I used the palette knife and found myself moving it around as if I was putting frosting on a cake. The colors, or lack thereof, were completely intuitive as I didn’t have my full palette laid out as I usually do when I paint. I finished it in a couple of sessions and put it aside to dry. As it sat on the floor, leaning against the legs of my easel, I grew to appreciate it and even “like” it.

Another painting (above), still to be named, is strange, even to me. I’ve never painted anything even slightly resembling it. The canvas is 30″ x 40″ and it was inspired by a photo of a floral arrangement which was dying, petals falling all around it – a work in process. What I have to do, is decide on background colors and how I’m going to insert them into the white space.

I doubt I will put this one in my portfolio unless, for some reason, I change my perceptions of it. That remains to be seen.

A great many of my paintings are 20″ x 30″ and I want to create the next few pieces on 16″ x 20.” Framing for the large paintings can run into hundred of dollars. I hope to …oops …I plan on …I will complete at least four new paintings between now and April 15. That way, I’ll have a couple of goals for the same date, by which time, the snow will be gone and I will be painting outdoors on the deck!

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