By Kristin Bucher
The changed landscape brings a new perspective
Once in a while the universe seems to delight in coincidence. That’s what happened to me this week, anyway. For the past two days, while putting the finishing touches on this special landscape painting issue, the landscape outside my own windows has become, truly, a winter wonderland … at least for those of us lucky enough to be inside. In less than 48 hours, Colorado’s entire Front Range has been hit with more than 2 feet of snow, much of which was swept into deep drifts thanks to 35-mile-an-hour winds. Perhaps you remember the news reports: the Denver airport closed for days, thousands of holiday travelers stranded, hundreds of folks rescued by the National Guard from cars abandoned along freeways. Those who had wished for a white Christmas certainly got their wishes granted in spades. Trees and rooftops were laden with thick white frosting, and the drift outside my bedroom’s dormer window was lovely, smoothly sloping up several feet to nearly obscure the view.
“Deep Winter” by Phil Nethercott
But I must confess that beauty wasn’t the first thing on my mind during this December blizzard. Caught up in last-minute work and holiday activities, my first thoughts were instead, “Can I make it to the office? Will my family make it in from out of town?” (The answers to those questions, by the way, were “Not anytime soon” and “Probably not,” respectively.) It wasn’t until late this afternoon, when the snow finally stopped, the sky began to clear just a bit, and I ventured out the front door to determine just how many inches had really fallen, that the loveliness of the winter landscape made itself plain. Stepping outside, I noticed that crisp, cold smell that comes only from newly fallen snow. I made my way to the nearby creek; looking along its banks through the bare branches, I noticed the faintest tinge of powdery-blue sky along the distant horizon, and below that a sliver of pale pinkness courtesy of the quickly sinking sun. And I thought of a phrase from a hymn that’s always stuck with me: “calm and exalted.” It was indeed a peaceful and glorious scene that cast an entirely different light on the concerns of my day.
That, to me, is the power of the landscape. May you experience it for yourself through the paintings in this issue.
Featured in February 2007