“It’s Not Spring Yet” Painting in January

"It's Not Spring Yet", oil on canvas, 8x10 © Nelia Harper
“It’s Not Spring Yet”, oil on canvas, 8×10 © Nelia Harper

Painting in January is often cold and snowy.  Most days, I layer on the long underwear, fleece lined pants, gloves, hand warmers, hat and wool socks.  And then there are days like today when temperatures rise into the 40s.  The sun gently glowed through the clouds, lighting up the grasses in shades of gold against cool silver blue.

Knowing what political turmoil was occurring around the country, in the media and online, I basked in the sun and listened to silence.  While walking out the park, another painter and I started to chat about today’s inauguration.  Another woman commented that she couldn’t sleep, she’s so excited for tomorrow’s Women’s March in Denver.

I’ve been thinking a lot about all that is happening in our country, and what may or may not happen, and I choose to paint.  Painting is my way of showing how much I love our country and our nation.  How wonderful to have the freedom to paint outside on public land.  The gratitude I felt for our earth, clean water, safety, and all the people that have made this possible over centuries was present.  I felt a calmness and quiet in my mind.

I found this lovely tree along the banks of a frozen pond  As I painted, I thought to myself, it feels like spring.  The snow was melting, the path was muddy.  If I didn’t know better, I would think it’s March.  But, it’s not spring yet.  There is still plenty of snow and cold ahead of us.  Today, I enjoyed the reprieve.

It was such fun to paint the little clouds in the sky and the endless tree branches.  I could have painted all day, soaking up the sun while watching the sky change, marveling at how wonderful it is to live in this country, and how important it is to enjoy what we have.

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