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She snapped the other photo on her street. She was struck by a burst of red on a single oak tree amid other snow-covered trees. It created a “cool contrast” reminiscent of the work of the well-known photographer Ansel Adams.
Karen McDermott of Lino Lakes has never been a big winter fan. But the show has prompted her to see the season with an artistic eye. Instead of focusing on the cold or the hassle of shoveling, she finds pleasure in such details as the way the sunlight bounces off the snow at a certain hour of the day. “It’s colorful, sometimes more so than what you find during the other seasons,” she said.
As a result, a sense of warmth comes through in her winter pieces, which include several watercolor-and-ink renderings of a woodpecker, owl and a natural area. For one of the paintings, she got some help from her fellow arts council volunteers at a weekly meeting.
The shadowing on a cluster of birch trees “wasn’t quite right,” she said. Someone suggested adding a purple tint to the trees. “I tried it and it worked great,” she said.
Way to warm up to winter
Cheryl Barr, who lives in Blaine, found herself painting a winter scene one day this past summer in preparation for the show. At the time, she didn’t mind the thought of winter, especially amid the heat. She thought maybe it would cool her down. Barr portrayed a natural area in Fridley’s Manomin Park using watercolors.
At this point, Barr no longer needs to rely on her imagination to conjure winter. But the creative warm-up makes the season easier to bear. “Living in Minnesota, it’s important to be content, to find the good in whatever weather there is,” she said, adding that it ties in to a life lesson.
Anna Pratt is a Minneapolis freelance writer.