On painting the narrative art piece, “Spring Snow”
by David Baker
The following are a number of images of a work entitled “Spring Snow.” The idea came to me when I was on an airplane waiting on the tarmac.
My father was ill at the time, and my mind was filled with sadness and fear of the impending loss. I knew the metaphor would not be obvious, and it was all the more obfuscated by my use of a young girl and a snowman as stand-ins.
The first image is the scribbly sketch that I made on the plane.
For the next stage I hired my neighbor’s daughter to model for a drawing. At that point the idea started to move quickly and a fortunate spring snow allowed me to make one last snowman to model as her companion, or perhaps interpreted as a fickle boyfriend.
I then began work on the panel. Though the central elements were set, and I knew I wanted our white clapboarded house as the backdrop, I went round and round about whether or not to add additional elements.
I considered adding her father, one of my sons, my dog, and so many other little elements that I had to stop painting and just let the painting sit for a few weeks.
By the time I decided upon a pile of sticks, a sled, a lost mitten and a dog bed on the porch, the snow had melted, so I placed a white sheet on my lawn as a stand-in.
In both considering this painting and looking back at the grief I was bearing at the time, my work on the painting provided a way to push back on things just outside of my grasp: the ephemeral and the loss. And I know that this painting holds much more than simple observation.
Learn more about David Baker at: www.davidgbakerpainting.com
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