Where It’s At

Art in snowshoeing

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 11:45am

Let’s face it: Not all of us are into winter sports. There. I said it. And, I (not surprisingly) am one of those. Tried skiing – once – couldn’t make a “pie” or ski as well as the toddlers on the bunny slope! Very discouraging, not to mention embarrassing! But, I got over it rather quickly because the thought of hurdling down a mountain slope covered in snow and ice at a fast clip is not my idea of a good time.

Having said that, I do enjoy snowshoeing – quite a lot, actually. It’s the zen way to go – peaceful and excellent exercise! I don’t have a pair right now, though. Hmm … maybe it’s time to get on the Boothbay Yard Sale Facebook page and look around. I’m particularly fond of the old fashioned wooden shoes, not the aluminum ones that are popular from L.L. Bean … not that there’s anything wrong with them … the wooden ones are hard to find. Reny’s used to sell them, but no longer. Luckily a visit to eBay brought me to just the right pair, at a more than fair and affordable price!

Winter is also a great time to visit, oh, I don’t know … how about art museums? The Farnsworth & Wyeth Center in Rockland leaps to mind, as well as the Portland Musuem of Art. I’m particularly happy the Andrew Wyeth “Witches, Ghosts and Mischief” is still on exhibit through March 1 from Andrew and Betsy Wyeth’s collection. This is an exhibit after my own heart. Apparently Wyeth was enthralled by the eerie and the mysterious surrounding Halloween and beyond. Sounds like wicked good fun!

And also at the Farnsworth are the 3-dimensional fiber sculptures of Katharine Cobey. The promo pic the Boothbay Register was sent by the museum was an intriguing hand-spun and knit Churro wool, leather, shell and bone garment entitled “Ritual Against Homelessness.” I know I want to see this one up close. I am fascinated by artists who paint with fiber. The Museum website describes Cobey’s work: “ … builds three-dimensional forms by knitting with unusual fibers, metal wires, and plastics. Her stitches give shape to her viewpoints, integrating and shaping magical costumes or emblems of memory and loss.” I expect her show, “A Different Voice,” will speak volumes.

After seeing exhibitions like these, there are always images that linger in your mind’s eye. Images that offer something new to ponder while you’re out snowshoeing. See, that’s the thing about snowshoeing: You can muse over this thought or that memory or that amazing view you’ve happened upon. Unlike skiing, you are moving at your own thoughtful pace.

You can even capture a few artsy photos with your phone while you’re snowshoeing ... ice crystals balancing perfectly on a tree limb; footprints left by a fox or deer … sunshine filtering through an aged pine tree; branches that contain rune shapes ... and then, maybe, just maybe, I’ll see a tree or branches that will take me back to Cobey’s sculptures … or one of Wyeth’s paintings in the Farnsworth show …

Artful mindfulness at its best ...