“Here in our high dry air and intense sun a scene like this is most beautiful in the early morning. The snow has not yet melted from the smallest branches and twigs. In this ancient barrio, the flat-roofed adobe houses and the walls are unchanged from long before the old Ford was new.” – Clark Hulings (Timeless Beauty, Pursuing Life’s Textures).
Anytime it started snowing my father would get excited. He couldn’t wait until the storm had cleared and the sun was back to go out with his camera and hunt for subject matter. He loved to paint snow because of its many textures and layers. Like roses, another of his favorite subjects, snow is soft but complex; amorphous but with structure. To paint sunlight on snow is particularly difficult, especially when parts of the composition are in shadow. The values are extreme – one cannot paint them as they truly are or no one would be able to look at the finished work. My father loved these kinds of challenges.
For me the fascinating thing about this painting is that it contains a self-portrait – to my knowledge the only one Clark Hulings ever showed publically after art school. The man and dog walking away in the distance are him and his dog Pixie. This painting was sold out of his last solo show in 2007. I feel like he is showing all of us that he’s leaving the stage.