|Snow pile, gouache, 5 x 8 inches.|
I choose to paint it for a practical reason: it's visible from my car in the parking lot where I'm waiting for Jeanette to do the hunting and gathering.
But I also like it because it's an overlooked subject, something artists don't usually paint. Unlike an "artistic" subject like a Venetian canal or a Maine seascape, there are no artistic precedents here. It's virgin territory.
It speaks to me for other reasons, too. Anything in nature that is white—such as a cloud, a breaking wave, or snow—reflects the dynamic light conditions of the scene. The sun is coming partially through high clouds from the right. The up-facing planes on the left side of the pile are cooler and a little darker.
I'm also fascinated by the contrast between the fractal-organic forms of the snow and the rectilinear lines of the parking lot. I greatly simplify the background to put the focus on this contrast.
Finally, the infinite complexity of the surface suggests the passage of time. The shape of it even changes a lot during the 45 minutes I'm sitting here. It speaks to the dynamic interplay of elemental forces and the impermanence of all external forms.
Two artists who I admire who paint similar kinds of scenes of the built environment.
Andrew Haines and Scott Lloyd Anderson