Wednesday, January 16, 2013
"Winter" by Greta Crosby Let us not wish away the winter. It is a season in itself, Not simply the way to spring. When trees rest, growing no leaves, gathering no light, They let in sky and trace themselves delicately against dawns and sunsets. I have always loved those words by Greta Crosby. Winter here in Central New York tends to be long, dull and very gray and can be a bit depressing until you learn to embrace winter for what it is. The skiers and ice skaters have already figured that out! Cold, snow and gray skies don't bother them; dressed for the weather, they rush outside to seize the moment, to play in the snow. But winter also invites us inside; sometimes to the warmth of the fire, other times inside ourselves to introspection. That is where I find myself these days as I embrace winter at Windy Hill Studio. For many years my artwork has been squeezed in around family, home and work obligations. Most of my artist friends are doing the same balancing act. We don't find time for art, we make time for art, because it is our passion. But now my balancing act has shifted in favor of Windy Hill Studio. Family obligations have lessened a bit and I am working less hours than I was last year. I had been wearing two hats at the Y Arts Studio, I was the Studio Coordinator(part time) and one of the Art Instructors. My coordinator's position ended at the end of September, but I am still teaching at least 3 or 4 classes per week. Of course, my paycheck is considerably smaller as a result of the loss of one job. So with all of these hours freed up I am making the most of my time in the studio...finally. I say finally because it took a while before I was able to structure a day in the studio without the constraints of meetings and deadlines. I was so used to working on the artwork under the pressure of squeezing it in around EVERYTHING else, that I was totally lost when given a "free day". I knew I would need to give myself structure in order to get anything done. So with the New Year comes resolutions, calendars and schedules! And even deadlines!!! Since many of the galleries and shops where I show and sell my artwork are seasonal (May - December) I can use the winter as my time to create new paintings, have prints made etc. Also a good time to try some experimental work and of course write lesson plans for my classes. I am enjoying the winter as my time to refresh and rejuvenate. I currently have 3 paintings underway, one of them an experimental piece on silk. I have scheduled a couple of solo art shows, and started making plans for a studio expansion at Windy Hill Studio North, AKA camp. Although it's not such a big expansion given that the studio at camp is in a corner of one of the bedrooms, there is a skylight! And room for a storage cabinet. The lake and woods provide the inspiration, so I guess that's all I will need. And, I won't be spending all of my winter indoors in my studio. I just heard that there are $8 lift tickets this Sunday night at Labrador, and we have a snowshoe hike planned with the Indian River Lakes Conservancy in a couple of weeks, ice skating at Clinton Square, cross country skiing at Highland Forest. And the colors of the sunlight on the snow ...amazing! Gotta paint it. Overcast sky??? That's why we have Payne's Gray. I plan on enjoying this "downtime" as much as I can. And here is Winter, by Greta Crosby in its entirety. "Winter" Let us not wish away the winter. It is a season in itself, Not simply the way to spring. When trees rest, growing no leaves, gathering no light, They let in sky and trace themselves delicately against dawns and sunsets. The clarity and brilliance of the winter sky delight. The loom of fog softens edges, lulls the eyes and ears of the quiet, Awakens by risk the unquiet. A low dark sky can snow, emblem of individuality, liberality, and aggregate power. Snow invites to contemplation and to sport. Winter is a table set with ice and starlight. Winter dark tends to warm light: fire and candle; Winter cold to hugs and huddles; winter want to gifts and sharing; Winter danger to visions, plans, and common endeavoring -- And the zest of narrow escapes; winter tedium to merrymaking. Let us therefore praise winter, Rich in beauty, challenge, and pregnant negativities.