Monday, January 23, 2012


I really like Krista Howell's work Last Year's Snow. She has skillfully captured the freshness of fallen snow on a delicate branch with light breaking through. Snow can indeed bring out the best in a location, although, it really does depend on where the location is. 

I used to live near a city in China where the pollution levels were off the charts. The name of the place in Mongolian was translated as 'Fragrant Meadow'. In the winter, indeed in the summer too, truth be told, the name, I'll write it again, 'Fragrant Meadow' was a cruel joke. The air was so thick with coal smoke in the winter that snow would turn black very soon after falling. Alongside the roads would be piled up black snow and the temparatures were so cold that the piles would remain well into the spring. So my gut reaction to snow it one of a sense of foreboding, flight delays, pneumonia, pollution, slippery roads, and bad hospitals, a bad combination.

Now that I've excorcised those difficult recollections I'd better explain the picture above. It's urban snow, sludgey, dirty, warm, wet, ugly urban snow in a gutter. All the same I thought there was some understated beauty in it somewhere, you have to look hard.

1 comment:

K Howell said...

Lovely gutter snow! I saw your piece as a frosted window...
Snow wouldn't be beautiful without that sinister side, would it?
Thank you for the kind words.

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