It has finally begun to snow here in Hungary – it took till mid-February to start. One night a friend asked if I had seen the river yet, which was completely frozen over. “No!” I exclaimed, shocked that I had missed it (there are three rivers here in Győr, and I pass by two of them on my daily travels, but missed the third). The night was cold, and the streets were deserted. The sound of the snow crunching under our boots accompanied us on our walk. We got to the bridge and I stared out on a scene I was seeing for the first time in my life. Having grown up in warm Australia, I felt as if I were looking out on a post-apocalyptic scene. The river was not only frozen over, but a heavy blanket of snow covered it, the bank, and even the stone walls of the old Castle town. I mentioned this was how I would imagine the end of the world, at which he smiled, “This is what it is like here; the four seasons are clearly distinct from one another. Winter is about calm, sleeping, about death. Life will come again in the spring.”
I’ve obviously been heavily inspired by my travels, and my work has reflected the new things I’m experiencing. As winter approached stealthily, many of my friends began to tell me they couldn’t wait to see how a snowy winter would influence me. The museum director even inquired why I hadn’t made any snowy pictures yet. I began to feel uneasy… I felt like winter had not made its way into my work – I’m painting baroque inspired pieces, which true, is drawn directly from my current life as well, but they take place indoors, devoid of snow.
How can I miss such an opportunity? Once I go back to Australia I won’t be experiencing any more snowy winters! Reviewing my sketches for an upcoming project though, I smiled as I realized that the white winter outside had indeed subtly crept into my subconscious, without me initially realizing.
A de-saturated palette, snowy figures, milky eyes, and pink fingers numb with cold – glimpses from a new illustration I am working on, inspired by the Hungarian version of Sleeping Beauty – which translates as “Lace Rose”.
Would any dear readers be interested in seeing a step-by-step for this latest painting? Anyone? :-}