At this writing, we have not had any snow and you are probably wondering if Henschel is trying to put one over on you; but it is the season and I always try to come up with something seasonal! So I need to ‘fess up and tell you that this painting was done last year and I’m using it as a basis for this story.
Aside from the snow, I’m not sure what, in my paintings, has drawn me to seek out water; an eccentricity that someone pointed out to me years ago when I had a show in the Museum building in Prince Rupert.
“Mr. Henschel, were you aware that out of the 28 paintings that are hanging, there is only one that doesn’t have water in it?” The truth was that I had no idea that I was a water fanatic with my work: for me, certainly a revelation.
The painting in this picture is another one of those revelations! A favourite spot of mine, just six kilometres from our house, is Roselle Lake, a magnet for me as the seasons bring on new changes in colour and atmosphere. This was the first snow, new and iridescent in the morning sun. The lake, only partly frozen, broke up the new white sheet into wonderful designs. It would have been easy to find a dozen compositions, each one sparkling and magnificent in its newness and freshness. The magic of snow!
Why is everybody so excited about a White Christmas? For me, it originates from a childhood in Manitoba, where snow at Christmas was as sure as Santa Claus! My Mom, as well as my friends’ mothers, was in the church choir and I would accompany her to the pre-Christmas choir practices. The church in our small town lay on a hill; a perfect spot for sleds and toboggans! The old church, not being soundproof, poured forth the choir’s Christmas carols while we were having our winter fun. That, folks, is about as good as it can ever get: a sliding hill with built-in carols!
White or not, have a Merry Christmas!
Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca.