Went back to the crow series on cigar boxes prior to Christmas and the layering, the black and white, they mystery of the creature seemed to fit with the winter--it's layers of snow, the black shapes that come to life against a white backdrop. And I love the mystery, the unpredictability of the weather patterns, but love knowing winter will come... and there will be spring to follow. And I love that man cannot change this.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
I remember a night similar to earlier this week. Walking home from the Calderwood building where we had just had painting class in the late afternoon light. The snow was coming down and drifting across the sidewalks and streets. I stood in front of my apartment on Pine Street and stared up at the streetlight across the street. It was a soft light, aglow in the midst of swirling snow and darkness. I had to paint it. I painted exactly what I "saw" and shared it with "Ronnie" the next day. In her inimitable way, she stood with that perfect posture and sincere expression and said to me, "but I wonder what it 'felt' like to be standing there in the cold, wind, snow, darkness, and light?"
She said the singularly most important thing any teacher said to me during my 4 years of art school. That question is with me always. It is my guiding light.
Veronica Benning, you will be missed.