Editor’s Letter | Scenes of Winter

By Margaret L. Brown

On a crisp February day in Colorado, plein-air painter Henry Isaacs drives his rented Jeep west of Crested Butte on Route 133, his intended destination a place called Oh Be Joyful Creek and Falls. “From the viewpoint of the driver’s seat I fall in love again and again: a trailhead that invites, a creek foaming and tumbling, a snowfield glistening too yellow for me to avoid stopping to paint,” he writes in a personal reflection on his years of painting in the area. Isaac’s essay is one of three firsthand accounts of the creative process that make up the final segment of this year’s Millennium Series. In January 2001 we launch a new series, Realism Today, which will examine a different component of the realist art market each month.

Like Henry Isaacs on his way to Oh Be Joyful, Colorado painter Dix Baines is also inspired by the winter landscape. Baines is intrigued by the effects of light, such as how melting snow “takes on all the colors of the rainbow” in McPollin Farm. For cover artist Len Chmiel one of five artists who celebrate the season with snowscape paintings in our Scenes of Winter portfolio—painting snow is an opportunity to experiment with shapes and shadows. “The forms are so beautiful,” he says, “and you can move things around to get the composition you want.”

In addition to winter scenes, this issue includes a profile of artist Bill Worrell, who interprets ancient petroglyphs in his paintings, sculpture, and jewelry; an examination of John Singer Sargent’s figurative paintings in conjunction with an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum; and an introduction to a Santa Fe couple whose collection ranges from paintings by historic women artists to contemporary glass art.

In this holiday season, may you find yourself on the road to somewhere joyful.

Featured in December 2000