From my sketchbook:
Snow Day / Avalanche of
Soft and fluffy
Becomes a coffin
Beautiful deadly snow
I began Avalanche, the idea for a series, in the aftermath of an avalanche accident at Taos Ski Valley. On the morning of January 17, 2019, two inbound skiers were caught and fully buried, found 22 mins later and transported to hospitals. One died that evening and the other on January 21. The tragedy transfixed this mountain and ski area. The coverage included sublimely sad photos of the mountain’s snow being pieced by poles of searchers hoping to rescue skiers, rows winding up the basin. It soon turned to a recovery search until all were accounted for. Candle memorials and the sadness of the searchers as news came of deaths of those they dug out was moving.
I began the idea of the series as I often do, collecting images, making collages, and juxtaposing classical with current event. The most moving/successful collages are sketched and painted. So far only in watercolors. I planned a large series of oil painting to begin in 2020, plans changed, and I’m only just now returning to ideas about this series - Avalanche.
This one large watercolor on tinted paper was started in 2020 and just recently completed. I had to just cut it off the board and say it’s done. (22” x 30” is taped to a watercolor board to work on to prevent wrinkling and pooling of paints.) The idea of search and rescue being watched over by the Winged god of Sleep.
The current season hasn’t ended but already Avalanche fatalities are higher then in past decade. So continuing to research and develop this series.