The full moon in December is aptly named the Cold Moon. Signifying the seasons lengthening winter nights many Native American nations called the full moon in December the Long Nights Moon. I’ve always loved waking on a winter’s night to see the shadows a full moon plays on the snow. It’s as if a spotlight shown on the wilderness normally darken to us most during night.
In began as a pencil sketch
This painting was sketched prior to using paint. The initial drawing below shows the first conceptual art I created prior to the full moon in December. The snow was had only arrived as wisps of flakes from the sky when pencil met paper. Cold gripped New England a few days before the real snow fell and by then I had decided to pursue the painting. That night was the full moon in December.
Moonlight on snow
That very evening I woke after midnight and stole out of the bed to look out the window. It was a cloudless night and the cold moon was so very bright. There were no features on the moon, no man in the moon lay on the lunar surface. A magical white opaque halo spun around the moon like gauze. The sky was navy blue and black, infinite with twinkling stars that appear as diamonds.
Snow isn’t white in the night but seems to take on the colors of the night sky. Tinted with navy blue and gray you can see where dips and valleys lay on the snow. The surface of cold crystals was unbroken by footfalls.
The trees dark, bare and tall threw their shadows in bumpy lines towards the house. At the base of the trunks white hair lip snow piles had formed by the winter breeze. It was the finest half hour I’ve spent in some time. In the quiet of the house, I took mental note of the colors, textures and feeling for painting Moonlight on Snow.
Of course the deer was in my imagination though I know something, a mammal or owl, was out there enjoying the full moon in December.