Being a kid is a great place to go on a snowy day. So…. The grown-up in me grunts and groans her way through clearing snow from the front path and porch. I even managed to clear the driveway– with major effort! Leaving me wet and achy and tired and cranky.
The afternoon, the warmth of the sun — under a blanket of grey– made it a bit easier. I cleared the gateway and the path leading to the back door/deck.
The very first day that I have to shovel the ‘wretched’ stuff and… it’s… Packing snow??? Hmmm…. Maybe I can build a snow fort?
All of a sudden, the deck became my art studio. Our deck has a railing and the particular railing in question has a bunch of posts…. Spaced evenly about three inches apart they were very persuasive. Every time I thought I’d cleared a whole bunch of snow off the edge of the deck: the railing just stood there and blocked me. (That’s when I figured out it was packing snow. :))
So… one thing led to another…. And pretty soon I was on my knees playing with the snow trying to build something. It didn’t matter how methodical my hands were… The shapes were always lumpy or malformed. Ironic. Seeing as I had no idea what I was building.
Initially? I thought snow fortress…. But that idea gave up on me after I ran out of piles of snow. I had thought about going down into the yard and bringing loads if snow back up onto my play space– quickly squashed by remembering that I’d just spent all this time clearing the deck and path and now this crazy kid (still me) was going to make me undo most of what I’d done? Nah ah.
After a chilly moment of reflection, I reconciled myself to the charming little wall of snow that the railing had just helped me build. Using my spade to carve it into some sort of wall, I thought “If I can make it flat with my spade, maybe I can mold snow into shapes and build something.” How exciting is that?? I remembered putting some empty plastic flower pots away. I rushed over to the shed and grabbed two different sizes to start my experiment.
Lesson 1: how to make snow shapes with containers.
Re-learning skills from my youth, I played with packing snow into these pots to see what I could do with what came out. The architect inside still had me thinking about turrets and those pointy things that run along the summit of castle walls.
After creating a series of snow cylinders and lining them up along the railing, I started smooshing them together. First, I built a woman. The gender was a bit of an after-thought…
Lesson 2: deciding if it’s a girl or a boy while building a snow person is a good idea. (Snow boobs don’t stay on for very long.)
I found some stray charcoal for her eyes– two of them– and now I had to figure out how I was going to build her face. I used a piece of icicle for her nose and the rest of it? Scraps of dead plants. I used bits of grapevine to make her arms.
Twigs be damned! They didn’t do a very convincing job of sculpting snow! In the midst of all this action, I ran back into the house to get a butter knife– nothing was going to stop me from creating a masterpiece!!
There was an enticing little mound of snow placed just to her right (my left.). When I started, I thought “Hey, it could be a dog.” I’d used a few stems of dead tomato vines to build my girl’s hair and then a funny thing happened: she grew a character…. In a moment of ‘I don’t know what to do about the boobs’ I figured it out: no one will notice if I put an S in her chest.
(Unless a superhero’s being played by Scarlet Johansson, who looks at her boobs?)
Oh my god. It’s me!?? I’m the superhero — of course I am. This realization made my job a whole lot easier. The hair? Needs to be shorter like my hair is. Hello eyebrows. I knew where I was going with this. Of course, it’s Super Sam ( the lead in my survival guide– but a whole bunch older). For the first time since theatre school, I was creating a character that I could play– in snow, no less!
My kitties were next in line. It was like the dog had it’s species changed in a flash. Dead plants are a great choice for whiskers and ears and everything in between. Yes… I know, I had to build two of them. If it’s really truly me, then I have to include both of my furry sidekicks. I couldn’t tell at first glance, but I think that Lucy is on our hero’s right and Julio is on the left.
SUPER ME (above) & My SNOW kitties! (right)
playing cool dude literally…. Cool music dude. — Ooh. And thanks snow Jason for reminding me that snow people need ears! Otherwise they’ll never listen to you!
So… I know that snow people come and go. Things melt and shift and get knocked over. This was NO waste of time, dear friend! For a couple hours I found my joy in childhood and made art that will melt. My first impulse was building a lone figure but I am very happy to report that this is no longer the case. I had company. Two cats that look similar and a weird musical snow guru that kept me thinking about what Elvis Presley would look like if ever he visited my snow banks and made a withdrawal.
Most of the fun happened when I was going inside my mind’s eye between shifts of warming my fingers up and then ripping my gloves off again so I could touch the snow. Sometimes art can be painful… but it’s an exciting journey nonetheless.
FYI: I peeped out in my backyard only a few hours ago to notice that something looked a little different?