On the Bank of the Seine

It’s a cold, snowy winter in the Northeast (and indeed throughout much of the country). NYC has seen 54″ of snow…so far. Mixed with it came sleet, hail, and freezing rain, and not enough rain to clear away the snow. Followed by Arctic blasts to freeze the mess solid. I’m afraid to use my car–not because of the roads which are okay at the moment, but because once I move it, I lose it–my parking space that is. Snow like this reduces street parking by at least a third, and my husband did such a great job of clearing the snow away in case I do need it, that the spot is the envy of the neighborhood. This winter has already made it onto the top ten list for snowiest winters in NYC. And we’re not done yet. Another small snow is coming tomorrow. I’m sure it’s not the last of it’s kind. How I wish it were summer and I were sitting on the bank of the Seine!

Posted below is my latest painting: a girl sitting in the sunshine on the bank of the Seine. It looks so relaxing and carefree. Wouldn’t’ it be nice to be there right now? Posted next to it is what it looked like from the studio window many Saturdays as I was painting her. Where would you rather be?

It’s time to let creativity take us away. I’m on winter break this week –no need to wonder if the Mayor will close the schools (let’s face it, he won’t). Instead I can watch the snowfall from my kitchen window as I sit in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and write about palm trees and sunshine. Later I can bundle up and head out with my camera to catch the dazzling white before the plows and shovels dirty it up. Then I can come home and put up a pot of crab and corn chowder, bake corn muffins and chocolate cake. And after dinner, it’s time for the Olympics, where there isn’t enough snow (Can we send them some of ours?) and it’s too warm.

But right now, I’ll just dream about sitting on the bank of the Seine….

Girl on the bank of the Seine Snow Art School 2014

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Winter in NYC

Winter in NYC…Monday we were dismissed early from school. The light was perfect when I got home, so I grabbed my camera and headed out to a little nature preserve near the house.

Let me back up. For the past few weeks I’ve been working every day–Saturdays and Sundays included–grading, prepping, creating exams as midterms approached. Monday morning I entered the last of the grades into the electronic gradebook as the snow fell on the city. Then, after I taught my fourth of five classes for the day, the call came in. It was time to go home. I was exhausted and ready to take a nap. But the light…the light was perfect.

And the snow. The heavy, packing snow hangs so beautifully on the trees. It’s terrible for the trees, I know. If the temperatures drop too precipitously, the trees can be damaged, sometimes beyond repair. But in those moments when the snow is falling and the light is right, the effect can be breathtaking. So off I went.

And I was not disappointed. My exhaustion was lifted by the beauty of nature. All we create can pale in comparison to nature’s simple adornments, but create we do in our attempts to emulate them. That’s what’s so enlivening about creativity. It connects us to our souls, to our humanity. And sometimes, my creativity simply records nature’s beauty because nothing can outdo Mother Nature herself.

I hope you enjoy a few photos of NYC (yes, this is the city, though not Manhattan) in winter.TreesNo SkatingThe Road Less Traveled ByToadstools