Winter Light

Winter Light New work by artists in Jessie Edwards Studio captures the subtle qualities of light cast by the low angle of the winter sun, especially in the interplay of highlights and shadows and the contrast between cool and warm tonalities.

In Stephen Haley’s monotype drawing “Before the Thaw” long blue shadows of the slender white trunks of a cluster of birch trees stream across a white snow bank. The snow is soft, melting down the trunks that are tinged with the warm tones of sunlight and hinting at warmer days to come.

Gerard Blouin’s watercolor “Stillness” has a dramatic contrast between warm and cool tones. The deep, wintry blues of barns and woodland and the bright white snow fields are set against the warming tones of sepia in a swath of shrubbery that fills the center ground. The grey sky beyond dark tree tops is tinged with rosy tones from the light of the setting sun. It is a scene of stillness that suggests the quiet pleasures of contemplation on a winter night.

In contrast, Kate Knapp’s oil on canvas, “East Road, Alford” brings us into the beginning of a bright winter day as the morning sun shines warm light on the banks of snow piled against a fence on a country road. Phone poles stalk down the plowed road in contrast to the bare limbs of a tree in the snow field The branches have a sculptural quality and seem to be in motion against the sky. Warm russet tones across the center play against the cooler whites and blues of the sky, the house, and the fields. There is a sense of something stirring in the midst of solitude.

Winter blues dominate Whitney Knapp Bowditch’s oil on paper “Scotch Surf.” The dark green of the bluffs and slate colored wet sand are muted by the bright white surf and sand and clearer blues of the sea and sky.

Similarly, Heidi Palmer’s near-abstract monotype “Heading Home” is also dominated by many tonalities of blue that blend sea, horizon, and sky. In contrast, across the bottom foreground is a band of dark color outlined by white light. In this light, a narrow line of light green defines a road bending toward the source of light in the right. A dark shape on the road suggests a vehicle heading into the blur of light in the right foreground — a solitary journey towards light in a vast universe.

Carrie Megan’s abstract “Serene Sands,” in oil and cold wax on canvas, is exactly that — serene. The blue in the foreground melds into tans, then white, then a large area of varied grey at the top. We have a sense of water, wet sand merging into warm, dry sand, and then the sky spread before us in the clarity of winter light.