The approaching Christmas season always gives me an excuse to show a winter painting in the Gazette.
I am writing this at the beginning of December and, because our snow covering has been brief, I decided to use a painting I did last January.
During the 37 winters we have lived on the North Island, I have never seen such an extended snow covering as I did last winter.
Generally, I’ve had only two or three days after a snowfall to get some paintings down before it all disappeared as the wind blew all the gorgeous snow off the trees and the rain took the rest.
Last winter it fell wet and remained on the trees when the temperature dropped.
As a result this winter wonderland of snow-laden trees and shrubs remained for over a week — an artist’s dream!
The painting shown here was done in my studio after a sojourn out to our nearest lake, Roselle.
Although we had a wave of cold weather, the snow cover that came with it made me a little leery of walking on the ice of Roselle, however the sunshine lured me onward.
The water peeked through the ice along the grass on the shore but the centre seemed strong so I gingerly danced around the lake, keeping about 10- to 20-meters from the shore.
At one point a fallen tree projecting from the shore into the water obstructed my path.
As I hastily stepped across it, I broke through the fragile covering.
Both feet knee-deep in cold water, I swiftly threw myself forward to get my knees on to thicker ice.
I admonished myself for being impatient and not having gone around the extended tree.
The sun was bright, the afternoon was beautiful and my feet were wet but not soaked, so I finished my circumnavigation of Roselle, pausing to do the sketches that resulted in this painting: Winter Sun, Roselle Lake, which I still have.
A pleasant souvenir of a memorable North Island winter.
Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca