Unseasonably warm, it was more of a grey day than most but the weather warns that this will be the last of it for awhile. Light rain still falls and with each drop we wonder why it feels more like March than it should in the short weeks leading up to the winter holiday – where is the first snow, the one that makes us run to the window and just stop, in silence, to look out. City or country, it is always magical.
In another lifetime and at about this same time of year, it was a tradition to look for a Christmas tree in the bush before the snow became too deep, mark it and then return with a sharp axe once the house was ready to receive it. On one such mission accomplished, the walk back was a quiet one when the scene above unfolded before us. There was no choice but to just stop – and watch as the light along the horizon slowly changed and the clouds rolled through blue, mauve and apricot. The moment marked a lifelong predilection for big sky landscapes, a quality of light and softness that makes one sigh or draw breath and hold it in as if to capture a part of this beauty for ourselves.
On New Year’s Eve decades later, a hushed midnight stroll down the main street of a small town found us awestruck once again. There in the window of a gallery was our very private memory, every detail captured as if the artist had been there with us. Morning couldn’t come soon enough.
This is what art is all about – having it grab your heart and wring from it something so deep that there are no words.
Here are a few 21st century landscape painters whose work speaks for itself: