Heart of Cold: Ten reasons to embrace winter without Irony

I was born in what is lovingly nicknamed the Banana Belt of Ontario. This flat, intensely agricultural area is nestled in by three lakes: Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake St Clair. Despite the relatively warm climate, serious snowfalls were common, and I grew up loving the endless white expanses and tall accumulations against our farm buildings in winter. It was childhood heaven.

FENCEROW 1 2014 24X24  A country drive in winter

FENCEROW 1 2014 24X24: Collage
A country drive in winter

Each year I reconnect and fall in love again with winter’s stark beauty. Today I share ten good reasons, none of them cliché, to embrace winter’s cold cold heart. Here goes:

1. Contrast – what is life without it? We would never appreciate light if we didn’t know darkness. Or heat, without frozen fingers. I love black and white compositions.

Winter Woods #1 I made this sketch right after that walk – I used big markers because that’s all I could see

Winter Woods #1
I made this sketch right after a local hike, using big markers to keep from getting too fussy.

2. Nature has fun with it – brilliant splashes of colour are more intense against a snowy backdrop.

Red Maple 2008 28X32 Wall mounted quilt

Red Maple    2008   28X32″  Net collage, machine embroidery, appliqué and quilting.

3. Native plants go to bed until spring – they need rest. Good example for all of us.

DARK WOODS 10 2005 28X15

Dark Woods #10   2005   28X15″  Phototransfer of a tree, net collage and machine embroidery.

4.  There’s more going on than the eye can see – stuff is happening under there.

FISSURE 3 2011 16X20

Fissure #3   2011   16X20″  Seeds, fungal spores, insects and other soil organisms burrow down, some die, some hibernate. Roots keep working.

5. You can see farther, especially if you are already short.

DEEP SNOW 5 2004 19X19

Deep Snow #5   2004   19X19″   Phototransfer of treetops, net collage and machine embroidery.

6. You don’t have to worry about deer eating your apples before you do.

The view out my back window after an early snow.

The view out my back window after an early snow.

7. Conifers are still working. They are at the helm!

WINTER MOON #1 2010 12X9"

WINTER MOON #1  2010  12X9″ Conifer leaves are resistant to cold and moisture loss. On cold dry days, their needles curve in to reduce their exposed surface. They continue to photosynthesize, only more slowly, as long as they get enough water.

8. Night skies are enchanting.

TREES I HAVE SEEN 1 2009 2 24X24

Trees I have Seen    2009   24X24″   Net collage, appliqué, machine embroidery.

9. Whether you love pruning or not, there’s no need to do it in February. You can, but you don’t have to.

DARK WOODS 7 2004 28X17

Old Apples #7   2004   28X17″ Phototransfer of trees, net collage, machine embroidery.

10. And we all know: spring will follow in due course ……

To the Light #2  Stitchery on photographic print

To the Light #2  8×4″
Machine stitchery on photographic print, watercolour, fabric collage


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18 Responses to “Heart of Cold: Ten reasons to embrace winter without Irony”

  1. Catherine Woodley says:

    Hello Lorraine
    These are lovely, and really capture the magical part of winter. It’s the quiet hat i love, the invitation to withdraw and remember the therapeutic and recreative part of stillness. And so many of these pieces take me there… they are absolutely haunting. Thanks for sharing….

  2. Biswarup Ray says:

    As someone said above, stunning art. Above all, thanks for sharing your joy with us 🙂

  3. Ruth Camack says:

    I can always recognize your work before I check. Truly enjoy your work so much and you have captured the mood of winter so well with these pieces. 5 years in Minnesota was enuf for me but I always enjoyed the first sowfall and how quiet and stioll the world seemed then.

  4. Geri deGruy says:

    Beautiful work Lorraine! I love it.

  5. Laura McGrath says:

    I lived in the southern US for 10 years and moved back north in October. I’m really enjoying winter again, I missed it! My favorite thing is the winter sky, all the shades of grey, and the clouds that move in with each storm. And I also love the quiet that comes with each snowfall. So glad that someone else appreciates the visuals of winter. Of course, it’s taking me some time to get used to the frigid temps again

  6. lise Gosselin says:

    bravo, c’est inspirant et magnifique,belles oeuvre et couleurs et plaisir pour nos yeux ,sublime

  7. Jessie Schut says:

    thanks for the blog, Lorraine. Our Small Worx group at the guild has challenged us to work in black and white,so it’s wonderful to see some of your older pieces in those colours. They’re inspiring.

    As you know, we don’t have snow out here on the Island…at least, not much and not often. But we do have winter — which is often grey, grey, grey. But when you open your eyes, you see so much more than grey. It’s the muted time in our year, and as you say, a reminder to appreciate a time of rest. Ironically, I find it is a time when I get the most done in my studio.

  8. Rojean says:

    Beatiful display. Thanks.

  9. Rikki Blitt says:

    Stunning art and charming thoughts.

    My favorite reason to love winter is that it provides a stark contrast and makes us appreciate the delicious colors of spring. As you wrote, we all need to ‘mute down’, rest our eyes and souls. Then, how precious is every green blade of grass and delicate flower bud.

    Thank you, Lorraine, for helping open our eyes and hearts to the beauties of this rather harsh season.

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