The Whispers of Winter

Monet, Magpie, c. 1868, Musee d’Orsay, Paris

Monet, Magpie, c. 1868, Musee d’Orsay, Paris

The whisper of freshly-fallen snow…snow-covered tree limbs…blue shadows…cool light…cold, crisp air…sun’s warmth...one solitary bird perched on the gate…a magpie…I am beckoned to step into the composition, yet very aware I must keep my distance so as to not disturb the quiet of this moment…so I observe from afar…

“Magpie” is one of Claude Monet's best-known snow-scape paintings. Monet uses what is known as “colored shadows” to depict the changing conditions of light and shadow in nature. So, in a blink of an eye the play of light and shadow will change…so why this moment?

For me the scene reminds me of those blistering winters on my college campus in Maine, walking across campus covered in snow, no one around, and the only sound is that of the wind, feeling totally at peace. To this day those moments remain fond memories.

What winter memory does it invoke in you?