Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It was just over a week ago. On March 11th I woke up and we had a surprise blanket of white. It was a very thin blanket, but it was snow nonetheless... and after a winter of brown and no snow, it was a complete delight. But the day warmed quickly and by noon it was all gone. I was so sad because as many of you know, I love winter and do many of my most daring sculptures in the winter...but this year, it was not meant to be. As I watched the snow vanish from that surprise delivery, I knew this was the last remnant of winter and soon it would be gone.
In addition to the sadness I was feeling about the loss of winter, I was also feeling into the sadness surrounding the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, so it was a bittersweet morning, to be sure. I realized that I needed to DO something to commemorate these feelings of loss. Remembering the practise of folding a thousand paper cranes as a meditation and prayer, I decided to start making snowballs and see how far I could get. There was not mush snow left....but appropriately, in the shadows
there was still some... just enough to start making a piece. I began making small snowballs and setting them out in the moss garden. I had the camera on a tripod and after each addition I snapped a shot. The whole process will become a movie when I have time to put it all together.

The sculpture started in the center and worked out from there. I worked until I had used up all the snow I could find. It took a couple of hours, during which I entered the wordless space where one is when they are merged with the greater collective. The waves of emotion were huge as the grief and loss that so many were acknowledging also poured into me. I cannot explain how this happens, it just does sometimes. I felt that in some tiny way, this work was dedicated to all the families who were mourning their loss as I was also mourning the loss of a good friend....Winter.

The snowballs were melting even as I was making more. The air was very warm, the snow - deliciously cold. It was hard to scrape up enough to make more snowballs, but I found another piece of shaded area and was able to make another couple dozen.

It was a mad race in some ways...and a simple contemplation: gratefully receive what you have and use it well.

It felt good to make something of the moment, to honour those who were marking their loss and to also celebrate what we do have in this moment...however small it may seem. I let the sculpture take its own course and photographed it thru the afternoon as the snowballs melted. I wanted to document the slow and gentle return to the landscape. It seemed fitting, given the mood. When I looked thru all the photos, one was my favourite...a spiral caught between shadows.

SO... this post is titled "Happy" Spring and that last piece of winter work while lovely, was not exactly arising from a "happy" let me leave you with this...
If you go to my website, you'll see a new set of greeting cards has just arrived!!! Here is the link to make it easier to find:

ALSO... I'm very excited because I've just finished a new lighted Faerie house and it is quite enchanting. I need to photograph it today and will be so pleased to share it with you very soon!! Can't wait for you to see it!! Happy Spring Everyone!!!!


Folklings said...

Hello, seeing your snowy-mossy spirals has made me smile . . . thank you. Looking forward to seeing your new lighted house.

Soraia said...

Hi! Remember me? :)
I still have been following your blog. Your art is as lovely as always.
Have a wonderful spring!

John Shaw-Rimmington said...

Very creative. And well written too.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful snow balls, i love your description of the emotions and mourning you felt.

looking forward to seeing more of your work!


Cowgirlz Spa said...

Lovely. The essence of art. Using what you have with what is inside of you. Very inspiring.

homeowners insurance florida said...

Seeing your snowy-mossy spirals has created me grin . . . thank you. Awaiting seeing your new illuminated home.

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.