Winter Transformation

February 3rd, 2011

Forest Floor October Watercolor, 22" x 30" 1998, liza myers

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau

I live at the northernmost end of the Taconic Mountains, a long meandering mountain wilderness which rises out of the Atlantic near New York City and ends in my backyard. More or less. Actually they vanish northward, slowly sinking into the Lake Champlain, but only a few miles beyond my home.

Forest Floor May, Oil on canvas 24" x 12" 1999 liza myers

For centuries artists have hauled their easels through the peaks and valleys of the Taconics and nearby Adirondack and Green Mountains. They have canoed the rivers, lakes and ponds and reveled in the vistas, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer and Thomas Cole among them. Olana, Frederick Church’s fabled home sits above the Hudson overlooking the Taconics. The Hudson River School began their celebration of  wilderness and the American pioneering spirit with their feet firmly planted in the Taconic wilderness.

November Moon, oil on canvas, 1997, liza myers

But MY Taconics are more both more intimate & personal. And at the same time, more vast.

In spring, the forest canopy offers a sheltering lacework of delicate green for the birds whose nests I often paint.

During the summer the summer, magical seeps and drips nurture delicate ferns and a population of small creatures: bright orange efts and spotted black salamanders. Moose, deer, raccoons, beaver, otter, even the occasional bear, all find their home in my backyard.

In autumn, the famed brilliant colors flame the trees until colors mute and turn into the soft grays and browns of early winter.

Autumn Waxwings, Watercolor, 12" x 30" liza myers

But now my backyard has been transformed into a pristine, pure white sculpture; curving hillsides punctuated by dark gray trunks.. This recent snowstorm which blanketed most of America has covered the stumps, hillocks and rock ledges with a thick smooth coating of white, transforming them with graceful elegance into a sculptural form reminiscent of Brancusi, Henry Moore and Noguchi’s abstracted figures. All imperfection has been smoothed over,  awaiting spring renewal.

By the way, archivally printed, limited edition reproductions of the three Forest prints are available at

If you order lickety split you can probably get them by Valentine’s!

2 Responses to “Winter Transformation”

  1. WildC says:

    I adore that Moose, Liza. Awesome 🙂

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