I welcome winter when it comes. I think I must have bear blood in me, because I like to hibernate in my studio when the flurries fly and the temperatures drop below 0. The sun pours in on sunny days, but mostly it is cloudy gray in Minnesota, which does not beckon me outside my studio-cave until the first signs of spring. I stay inside and paint.
And right now I am painting green. Not just ordinary green. The green that goes with a story by the author Mary Lyn Ray. Her stories are often quiet and soft- evoking a magic found when one communes intimately with the wonders of nature. It took me awhile to find just the right quiet and soft green for this story. At first it was too loud. Colors make sound and it is important to find the right sound for each story. Last winter when I painted When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky I deliberately chose bold bright colors that became louder and louder as the book progressed to the final chords ofThe Rite of Spring-- a very loud piece of music!
But this winter, painting Deer Dancer, I have to be careful with my greens. They are earthy and subdued. More like the green of avocados than limes. Which is louder, avocados or limes?
Winter can be a very quiet time of year, so although it is gray and white outside, I am tuning into the hushed greens of another season and the silence of winter is helping me along the way.
Lauren's latest illustrated children's book is Yellow Time. An exuberant, joyful ode to that magical time when the leaves are changing color and the animals are preparing for winter.