Moody Winter Blues

There’s nothing more enjoyable than getting out for a snowshoe in the mountains on a gorgeous, sunny day, with clear blue skies that go on forever. Details are crisp and clear for long distances, and colours are bright. Given the weather patterns in the Canadian Rockies, however, and the limitations of work and life commitments, it’s not always possible for me to get out to the mountains on those bluebird days, so I take what days I can.

Lights and Darks, pastel on paper
Benediction, pastel on paper

Sometimes, that means going out when skies are cloudy and gray, colours are muted, and views are limited. Low clouds? You won’t even know you’re in the mountains, at times. If the sun doesn’t shine, the snow doesn’t sparkle, and the trees take on a gloomier cast. Blues and blue-grays can dominate the landscape.

Moody Winter Blues, pastel on paper
Steely Water – Minnewanka, pastel on suedebord
Sentinel, charcoal and white conte crayon on paper

That doesn’t mean there isn’t some drama and atmosphere to be seen, if you pay careful attention. Peaks may loom like ghostly giants through a snowfall. Water will take on a steely cast. Parks Canada’s iconic red chairs will provide a pop of bright colour on even the gloomiest days. A sudden break in heavy cloud cover will send a beam of light to a particular peak, like a benediction from the hiking gods. There is something beautiful in a stark, monochromatic scene, bereft of distracting details.

Stone and Snow, pastel on paper
Red Chairs in Winter, pastel on paper
Train Passing, pastel on paper

The artwork for this blog post, except one, was created over a three-day, socially-isolated, creative retreat, Writers in Your House, organized via Facebook. I’d like to thank organizer Randy McCharles and all the other writers who kindly let this artist join in to post goals and achievements over the three days. It was hugely motivating and lots of fun to read about the variety of projects the 49 participants were working on.

If you enjoyed the artwork, some of it is now available for sale on various products on Please follow the link to see what’s available:

2 thoughts on “Moody Winter Blues

Add yours

  1. Hello cousin I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoy your artwork. You are very talented. I dabble for enjoyment and I find such joy in painting. Some that I’ve gifted, the receiver has actually framed which is very flattering. As someone who appreciates art and colour and light & shadow, I wanted to reach oy to you to let you know. I love your Mom & Dad and hope I can visit again maybe even this summer/fall?! Hopefully your schedule would allow us to meet! All the best Linda Love 💕 Susan

    Sent from my iPhone



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: