Mysteries Under a Blanket

Mysteries under a blanket could refer to a few things….
You can guess what I am actually thinking about here. Nothing naughty….

snow covering spruce branches, shades of grey colors, radiating composition

“Silence in Grey”, original acrylic by Judy Leila Schafers

I absolutely love the mystery that a fresh blanket of snow creates as it is laid over the varied contours of the garden, field and forest. Each snowflake joins together to form beautiful marshmallow-like shapes and hollows. These little vignettes evoke questions in my mind about what the snow might be covering. Is there a creature or two hiding under there? 

Fleeting Beauty

Why else would I spend time in the dead of winter, searching for inspiration, while having to endure frosty fingers and a runny nose? It would be a shame to miss such wonderful things to contemplate: soft, yet frigid shapes, cold shiny crystals and diamonds, sculptural, temporary, ever changing, ethereal. And then one day, usually without fanfare, they are gone.

Such fleeting beauty is worth exploring and capturing on canvas. At least I am not required to paint it stationed outdoors in the sub-zero temps! I am not sure I am THAT dedicated….  The digital camera does a great job of capturing enough of the detail for me to work with in the comforts of my studio. My fingers are saved!

A Forgiving Process creating mysteries under a blanket

It is a fun challenge to create pillow-y soft looking shapes on a flat surface. Layer by layer, the canvas takes on a 3-D look. We generally think of it as white, but it always amazes me how much color can be found in snow. The colors will vary each day, location and time of day. All of the subtle arrays of hue take time to see, understand and add to the painting in just the right amount in the right place.

My aim is not to copy the photo, but to make my painting look ‘believable’.  Put a layer of paint on the canvas and add another color or shape. Oops! I’ve made a mistake. I will then try to block it out with more layers and then enhance what’s working. Eventually something lovely is created through this push and pull process. Mysteries under a blanket are always interesting to think about and will inspire me for years to come.



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