Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Negishi" by Charles W. Bartlett

I enjoy this print even more knowing that the artist, Charles W. Bartlett, grew up in England, but after some world travel, he and his wife decided - somewhat spontaneously - to reside the rest of their days in Hawaii. I'm afraid to go to Hawaii. I wouldn't want to get seduced by all that fine weather.

In this image, a path of footsteps in the otherwise pristine, white snow winds its way toward the cluster of humble shelters and past a lonely, elegant tree. The people wear shallow dome hats. The hats curve down, their shoulders slump, and while they trudge their feet are erased and re-erased with each heavy step. They are weary of snow, but having to share it with everyone they know, they never complain. In contrast to the people, the trees lift up. Their branches are weighted down by snow, but freed of the burden of leaves. The snow falls lightly. It blows off in the slightest wind, melts in a single day of sun. Winter gives the trees an airy quality, a sort of beautiful and temporary death.

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