This week’s nationwide cold snap may have halted planes and trains, caused power outages, and closed schools, but it hasn’t deterred these intrepid artists. Recent flurries have inspired a corresponding flurry of artistic responses, and here’s a selection of our favourites, produced by Darren Rees SWLA, Roy Wright PS, Julian Halsby RBA, Lucie Geffré and Michael Harrison.
The collection of acrylic paintings by acclaimed wildlife artist, Darren Rees SWLA, takes us around the globe; to Scotland’s mountains, Wyoming’s famous Yellowstone National Park, and the Norwegian archipelago. In Bear and Rusty Pine, warm shades invite the viewer to engage with Rees’ intimate depiction of a lone brown bear. In Blue Ice, Bears and Driftwood, acrylics are contrastingly employed to add surreal vibrancy to the composition. The vast glacier rings with a pearlescent blue which is mirrored in the pebbles on the shore beneath, and the intimacy of the previous work is answered with the aloof movement of the polar bears out of sight.
Darren Rees SWLA, Bear and Rusty Pine
These new works by Roy Wright render a snow-carpeted Richmond Park, with all the bare majesty of its ancient woodland in winter-time. Charcoal is the ideal medium for capturing the austerity of these scenes, and for accenting the dynamism of the trees’ gnarled trunks and spindly, snow-dusted branches.
Roy Wright PS, Winter Silver Birches
Art historian, Julian Halsby, uses oils to respond creatively to the reflective qualities of snow. The blanketed patchwork of fields in Snow near Cerne Abbas pick up icy blue tints from the brilliant winter sky above. In contrast, First Snow, Sherborne imbibes warmth through the artist’s use of amber hues, vibrant greens, and pale pink accents in the snow. Ice-encased vegetation waves white against the river Yeo, and the scene conjures images of winter walks, replete with woolly-socked walking boots and cold pink noses protruding from hats and scarves.
Julian Halsby RBA, Snow near Cerne Abbas
Lucie Geffré’s Barn Owl combines painting and drawing to create a wintry dreamscape. In AD 731, St Bede compared the life of man to ‘the swift flight of a bird through the banqueting hall in winter’; the fire may blaze within but winter storms rage without. This metaphor of winter as the unknown manifests in Geffré’s work in the swirl of muted colours which makes up the background, to a formlessness which nonetheless gestures to landscape and form.
Lucie Geffré, Barn Owl
Michael Harrison employs muted shades of brown, yellow and cream to evoke a sense of the landscape in hibernation in Frozen Lake, where expressive strokes evoke a merging of sky, land and water. Village in Snow is accented with a spectrum of pastel colours, depicting, as in Julian Halsby’s works, the reflectivity of snow. A church spire stands out black in the background, and the artist employs swathes of russet, and patches of bright yellow to draw the viewer’s eye across the scene.