Welcome. It’s Snow Time.
Sara Eyestone, art curator at LaPosada de Santa Fe, brings to you a collection of stunning snow paintings by Kim Barrick, native Coloradan who splits her time between the West and Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the works are now showing in the lobby at LaPosada. Stop by if you find yourself in Santa Fe December 2020 – January 2021. If you are staying close to home, you can shop here online during the holidays and beyond.
Big Snow includes large statement paintings as well as smaller more intimate pieces to enjoy this season and all year.
“I am a lover of snow any way it comes down. Frost, flurries, then snow blizzards full force. Winter cannot be stopped, praise Boreas the Greek God of the cold north” says artist Kim Barrick.” Her larger works begin with a small study (see above) created on a small linen or canvas covered board or small stretched canvas. The painting must “work in the small format before committing to the dramatic larger canvas,” Barrick explains.
Barrick admits to being repeatedly drawn into painting, “all that light on white.” She adds, “I dream of snow, memories of years growing up in Colorado, building snow forts, ice skating on our tiny lake and downtown at Christmastime on the outdoor rink next to Denver Dry Goods at 16th & California. Sledding down hills near Bear Creek Park when very young until skiing started when I was 9 years old. That was an every single weekend occurrence all winter season. Those snowy days long ago and every season since.”
Snow in the Rockies at its best is “lighter than cotton candy dust bunnies,” Barrick quips. “Six inches layered on a windshield blown away with a breath. Dry cold conditions create frozen glitter mounding, wispy inches into feet deep blankets.” Barrick remembers, skating through it on frozen ponds, cutting hip deep tracks through it on skis pointed straight downhill. “Cathedral spires of winter white spruce, pine and fir, white on white aspen dressed for winter worship. And when the sun comes out,” she says, “an imperfect world becomes a pristine frozen Nirvana.”*
“Snow is without question one of my most beloved subjects,” she explains enthusiastically. The proof is in the numerous works she has created. Many of the largest paintings completed in the last 20 years at her easels are in fact, snowscapes.
Barrick begins with a vivid underpainting of what color “lies beneath what is seen and unseen found with the eye and heart.”
Warmth is blocked in “where sun drenched areas appear.”
Local color is then added “layer upon layers.”
“Timeless” was inspired by “a x-country adventure a few years back with a friend.” Barrick notes. “It’s not always a vertical drop down that the keeps skis going.”
Each individual painting in this triptych can stand alone, though they clearly are meant to hang together. “A successful triptych is a double black diamond degree of difficulty in painting. Executing three individual compositions while keeping unity with the whole is a painter’s extreme challenge.”
Years of skiing, hiking and gazing at snow “had their way” with Barrick’s work she says. She believes, “paintings of snow are the most comfortable way to enjoy the magic. No need to bundle up, shovel it up or warm up from exposure to its wonder.”
For downhill skiers, the views are ground level (at altitude) or from the arial vantage of the lift. “The icing on the trees clings in thick pads wrapped around the boughs after the heavy storms. When the sun comes out icy snowflakes wink like glitter,” she explains. The gentle blankets of white she believes, “calms the soul gifting us the pleasure of winter’s best.”
Sloping angles are the terrain of the Rockies. The upright trees stand impossibly vertical to deep piling drifts. “In my youth, tree bashing was big sport. After enough times exhausted digging out of deep cold spills the urge to to ski into the woods was mostly satisfied” she reminisces. “Now slipping into the forest just to catch the light for a photo reference is all I care to do.”
Barrick, a noted plein air painter, has, of course, painted outside in the snow finding it especially thrilling. “I get so focused, I sometimes forget to notice when my fingers and toes have gone completely numb. I have skied and painted all over this country and Europe in many conditions. But the Rocky Mountains, especially in winter truly stop my heart.”
For those wishing for a little taste of snow instead of the statement pieces shown above, the following studies are available to commission a larger work or to bring home.
December 2020 through January 2021
LaPosada de Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
To purchase one of Kim Barrick’s astonishing snow paintings,
Contact: Sara Eyestone email@example.com
*Snow is not all frigid rainbows and creamy unicorns. During the historic avalanche year of 2019 layers of the delightful whip cream snow were trapped between crusts of denser heavier snow thus becoming the frictionless foam that carried white destruction down countless mountainsides.