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snow winter solitude portrait by Steve Veatch
Self and Snow
Oil on canvas
28 x 22

In Colorado, where I grew up, I would sometimes watch a snowstorm roll towards me like a tsunami, a tsunami over three hundred feet high. Once in the storm, it was both thrilling and dreadful to look up into a seemingly endless gray with flakes suddenly in focus, then melting fast on my face.

Once on a cross-country skiing trip, we came to an avalanche chute. The standard practice is to only cross one at a time, so only one skier is launched into finality, should it arrive. The others crossed just fine. It was my turn, with apprehension. About halfway across, I heard a deep PAWUMP followed by the entire slope beneath my feet dropping about two or four inches. I don't know. Suddenly my head felt as if it was perched on a column of fear, with no sense of my body. I continued on without further incident.

I did this without suit and tie.