Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow Shoes and Paint Box

After two suffering falls while ice skating a few weeks ago, I have turned in my skates for a pair of snowshoes. Ice is such an unforgiving surface for old bones to scatter itself about on.

This past Saturday I tramped down my own path inside Old Calf Pasture in Concord , MA and headed for a snowy riverside path along the Sudbury River.   My winter walk begins with donning a painter's balaclava and a philosophy of although having limited knowledge of what lies ahead I'm confident I'll know it when I see it.  My divots in the snow displayed a frightening variety; nothing like the delicate tracks left behind by the meanderings of deer, otters or rabbits. I continued to scrutinize the frozen waterway banks lined with ancient willows for the right combination of form and line.  Not satisfied I kept on, leaning forward emitting steam driven breathes and a brow heavy with sweat until I came to the confluence of three rivers: the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord. There along the opposite bank was a bump of sorts; a snow covered bit of rocky ledge in the marsh flatland.   Now that looks interesting!

My first "Selfie'!

Because the snow drifts were deep, I kept my show shoes on while painting at the easel.  That's my blue denim painting apron and not a skirt!  Could have used gaiters to keep the snow out of my boots as well.

After returning home, I was curious about a man and his dog who came over that bit of ledge... was there a foot trail on the other side of the river?  After some online research, I discovered the 'bump' had a name. It is called Egg Rock and has historical and cultural importance in Concord. An inscription is carved into the rock which reads:
On the hill Nashawtuck
at the meeting of the rivers
and along the banks
lived the Indian owners of
before the white men came.

Musketaquid is the Native American word for the Concord River meaning Meadow River.

And... I found in my research that there is indeed a foot trail on which the man and his dog traveled to reach Egg Rock.  It is off the Reformatory Branch Trail and parking can be found at the Simon Willard Woods.

And ...my painter's philosophy was once again tested and proven true..."I'll know it when I see it".

1 comment:

  1. Susan, what a beautiful painting and a nice story. And I know that rock! I've seen it from a canoe on the river. There's an idea for plein air painting!