An Artist’s View With Mary Anne Lund

Written By: KPN - Aug• 02•14

“Glory to the Snow”
Watercolor
18×22

SOME CHILL FOR THE HOT SUMMER DAYS

While we are all sweltering from the summer heat, I thought it would be a good time to share a couple of winter tales to cool us off. They have to do with the chill of winter and snow.  Remember snow?  These are two tales of the inspiration behind two of my local paintings:

 Sunken Meadow
January 2004

The first starts with brutally frigid conditions out on the marsh one late January in 2004. The low temps and winds produced thick ice along Long Island Sound. I went out mid-afternoon on the Sunken Meadow marsh with my camera and flip phone in search of a painting.  I was not even sure that I had cell service.  Back then in the area of the wetlands and the Sound dividing Long Island and Connecticut, radio waves bounced over the waters depending on the weather, and I would often find myself roaming on the Connecticut side of the Sound. So one day I had service and the next day I had nothing.  As I walked the top of the dunes between the Sound and the estuary, I became so fascinated with the beauty before me of nature in the raw –unblemished by footprints in the snow and ice save my own. No living thing was stirring that I could see including the absence of any birds. Just stillness.  I noted that the ice along the water’s edge was quite thick. The light from the ice gleamed and sparkled as it bounced through the eye of my camera. I tread delicately along the grounds trying not to slip and fall. As I watched this incredible scene, I tried to think of what it must be like to be on an arctic ice shelf. I felt ecstatic and oblivious to the possible dangers of falling or frostbite.  The wind and the cold permeated my body; my fingers, face and lips stung. It never occurred to me that conditions would be this harsh, and so I did not bring heavier gloves or a scarf to wrap around my face.  As the wind kicked up, I tried to take pictures, when suddenly my camera stopped working from the extreme temperature, and I was unable to get it back on.

The painting inspired by this experience, “Glory to the Snow,” has been loved by so many who simply refer to it as “Glory.” For me, this humble painting says it all. Glory depicts that crisp clear day with a cobalt mixture of blue sky, and wisps of clouds radiating from the sky down onto the snow setting the tone. A hint of blue water suggests the beach below.  For the Kings Park folks and other nature lovers who have grown up in this area, you know what is hinted upon in my painting – the panoramic elevated area where walking eastbound one can view to the left the Sound and bluffs in the far distance of the north shore coastline, Connecticut in the far distance, as well as a view to the right showing the vastness of the marsh with the Kings Park bluff in the distance and the estuary that meanders along the path from Old Dock to almost the gulf course. In this frozen state, golden grasses struggled to grow proudly through the snow and ice. Oh, how wonderful are you, nature. Bliss!!

In retrospect, I know now that I was a bit foolish to be out there, for if I had fallen I would have remained until the thaw if my phone had failed me as well. Heaven forbid!  I still, however, get excited thinking about that day as if it were just yesterday. Hopefully, we live and we learn.

 The Blizzard

Now to the next tale – snow again, but this time only a blizzard.

One Friday many years ago, the snow starting falling heavily while I was still at work and everyone was sent home a little early.  By the time I crept home, I knew I would now be a shut-in. It was the start of a blizzard that continued into the next day and night.  I remember being blinded trying to shovel snow; I had taken off my glasses because I would have seen even less with them on.  It fell at a steady pace, and by the time it ended two days later, everyone had cabin fever.  As soon as the plows came by my small community in Kings Park, I decided to get out.  I did not know how the roads were. A neighbor yelled out to me, “Where are you going, Mary Anne?”  I yelled back, “Going to find a painting.”  He knew me – and that is exactly what I did. My first stop you can probably guess – Sunken Meadow, of course.  I got through on the road leading into the park – but when I got to the road leading to field 3 – I was stopped one third of the way by large drifts and unplowed road.  A woman in a 4×4 told me of heavy drifts and no plowing. She was right. I had a hard time trying to turn the car around – but I did.

I decided to try and go to San Remo and ended up on Landing Avenue.  Oh, how glorious was the magic of so much snow yet undisturbed. Then, all at once, I saw the painting – two mailboxes, a small picket fence and a lot of imagination. I painted “Landing in the Snow.” Great pun, don’t you think?  ‘Landing in the snow’ on Landing Avenue. The irony here is that I did not know what was beyond the 2 mailboxes and the picket fence; that is, until the spring.  What a surprise.  What an imagination….

I have several other paintings of this area that directly affect the good people of Kings Park such as the Nissequogue River, two of the lovely park on Landing Avenue – but they are not of winter scenes. No snow!   There are more tales behind my many paintings – and I can assure you that they are precisely true.  But, for now, wishing all a wonderful summer and the warmth of the season. Enjoy!

“Landing in the Snow”
Watercolor

To see more of my work  click here.
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Mary Anne Lund is a fine art impressionist landscape painter specializing in watercolor and oil painting renderings of seashore, wetlands, marshes, and other scenic and historical sites of Long Island and, more recently, Connecticut. She  has studied with noted accomplished artists through the years and is a member of the Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY, Wet Paints Studio Group, Sayville, NY, Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme, CT, Mystic Art Center, Mystic, Ct., and East Hampton Art Association, East Hampton, Ct. Mary Anne, a native Long Islander, has a home in Kings Park on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, from where she has drawn much of her inspiration and compositions.

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