Spring Therapy

What happened to spring? Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of spring, and we ended up getting buried under a blanket of snow. (That stupid groundhog lied AGAIN!)

My brain and my body are so tired of winter… so what, I wondered, could I do to console myself while springtime is so elusive, and we still have a landscape covered in winter white?

Well, I found just the thing… I pulled together some of the plein air landscapes I had painted during my travels. After being battered by the shock of yet another cold snap and close to a foot of snow, surrounding myself with those springlike scenes was just what I needed to soothe my spirit.

Often when I create a new painting, I do a photo shoot and then return to my studio to compose and paint it.  Each of my plein air paintings, however, was created as I stood right there at the scene and painted what I saw. It’s rather zen, a very tranquil kind of process.

The painting at the top of this email, Flowering Potato Fields, is a particular favorite of mine… When I first visited the state of Washington, I remember driving past beautiful fields of flowers. I’d never seen flowers like that before, and I had no idea what they could be. Being an Easterner, I was surprised and delighted to find out they were potatoes! Who knew potatoes had flowers? Or that they could be so pretty? The pink flowers are the red potatoes, the yellow flowers in the background are Yukon potatoes, and the white ones are your basic white potato.

Here’s another painting from my travels but in the upper Midwest, a scene from Grand Marais, Minnesota by Lake Superior. Standing in this field of flowers with the beautiful lake in the background was a taste of heaven. Fun Fact: There was a broken-down rusty tractor right smack in the middle of the flowers that I chose not to include in the painting… artistic license, right?

The last painting is of a place that has great meaning for me – Strawbridge Lake Park in New Jersey. When I was just 19 and working at RCA, it was my special nature place where I would go on my lunch hour to kick up some leaves and climb some trees when no one was looking.

But what really makes this painting special to me is that my husband Tom and my two best friends, Kathy and Ron were with me when I painted it. (Ron was my best friend since childhood, and Kathy was my coworker. I introduced them over 40 years ago, and they’re together to this day.)

Want to get your own little dose of spring? Check out my landscapes collection at www.lindabarnicott.com.

Speaking of spring, I have two other paintings in “Pure Pigment,” a new show at the Gilberti Gallery in Coraopolis. You can check out this great show of pastels artists from around the region any time between now and the end of April.  The gallery is also a working studio for the owner, Cindy GIlberti. The Gilberti Gallery is located at 1030 5th Avenue (Coraopolis 15108), and you can contact Cindy at (412) 303-4590.

Wishing you good health and happiness in the coming week… and would a little warm and sunny weather be too much to ask?