Looking back at older art can be so revealing.
I was at my brother and sister-in-law’s house the other day and came across a painting I had done for them a year or two prior. It is a winter scene of their back/side yard when they first moved into their house. Back then, a little barn stood harbored among the trees and a massive dying willow loomed in the foreground. I was intent on capturing the texture of the trees in the background and the sheet of snow. I painted layers upon layers.
It’s funny how our lives are built by layers—layers of time, experience, change…Those layers added up comprise the breathing, animated image of who we are in the here and now.
This picture, captured at the time they first purchased their house, represented a great time of change for my brother and his wife. Newlyweds, new house, baby on the way. new job(s). A lot was happening, and those layers were building up. Tumultuous, rutty, beautiful layers. It’d be interesting to go back now and paint this again to see what image would reveal itself. Hills and valleys of depth and peaks? Smooth satin snow drifts? Long, late-evening shadows contrasted by bursts of sunset light? Or, maybe a little bit of everything.
This probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me, and that’s okay. I feel I need to capture these thoughts. This painting isn’t perfect. Shoot, some people may consider it archaic. Again, that’s ok. It wasn’t meant to sit in a dusty corner of the Uffizi Gallery someday. It was meant to be a memory of a time when life maybe wasn’t so clear-cut, but was just as beautiful.
At least I’ve decided on a name for this piece—Frozen Layers.
Acrylic on stretched canvas.