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Colina: that Fist of Snow

Seed, starts, fists of snow: these are those little things that grow into finished projects.

With snowmen, it’s how all the white stuff packs together into a ball. You get a fist full of snow and roll it about in the undisturbed parts of the yard. As it gets heavier, it picks up more snow until it’s the size you want. Under the right conditions, snow sticks to snow.

With some other things that “first fistfull” comes with a struggle. Knowing that it could work is often enough to justify persistently trying. That’s how I learned to whistle.

Not being a ‘joiner’, I resisted my brother’s emphatic invitations to join the local scout troup for a long time. When I finally agreed to go see what the excitement was about, I decided to pass the travel time by teaching myself to whistle. The meetings were about a mile away and we walked. I tried every possible combination of lip contortion and tongue placement before I stumbled on that reliable combination that produces sound. At last it worked and I was thrilled to finally break the secret code.  I couldn’t modify pitch or much control the quality of sound that day, but I had my germ of a start.

With art, sometimes it works a little differently. In that world, the fist of snow can be the start of a discovery unanticipated. And maybe there are multiple basic little germs to combine before a never considered concept takes shape.

This in the realm of ideas is much like the cook who comes across a bit of fruit  or spice or a cooking tool not previously had and creates an inspiration with it, all new.

Behold, the signature of Anna Colina Bess Chaplan: a bit of snow.


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