As I climb the steep hill that leads me to where my car is parked, my face is encased in a icy mask that feels like an astringent that I hadn't asked for. I breathe in a fiery mix of cold air and exhaustion that burns my throat as it passes into lungs that no more want the winter cold than I do. I press one foot in front of the other and conjure up the thought of spring like an oasis that is only a few steps away. For a moment the iced over pavement gives way to the sight of warm grounds with fresh green grass and the sound of birds having returned from their winter retreats. There is warmth on my face from a sun that appears to enjoy its work again and the scent of flowers that only blossom when temperate happiness is in the air. For that moment I am infused with the will to continue forth in the frigid chill of this morning, knowing that spring lies on the other side of it.
The change of the seasons pulls us forward from one state of mind to the other like clockwork, to bigger and better things. Though I, like many of you, cannot wait for the end of winter - we are at least past the interminable January - I have found it to be my most productive time creatively. The distractions of warm weather do not intrude on the chilly solitude that gives me nothing but time to create. I am working on several new paintings that shine of warmer places and attitudes and takes me away to times spent with many of you. In many ways this harshness of winter is a friend that spurs me on and keeps me going to the next spring.
For those of you who will stop by for the African and Modern Art Show at the Casa Frela Gallery, 47 West 119th Street, this Thursday, February 11th, where I will have several paintings, dress warmly and bring your spring smiles.