The land of ice and snow inspires me

"We come from the land of the ice and snow/
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow." ~ Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song.

(This was first published in 2016.)

Mixed Media Ice Queen with Snowy Owl

"I come from the land of ice and snow". Mixed media on 12x16 canvas. First published in 2016.

I didn't know the origin of the title I had in my mind for this post (and potentially for the painting itself).  But as I was painting, the lyrics from the song became a brain worm until I had to google and find out the origin. Led Zeppelin had written a song with almost the same words.

I thought I was pretty clever to have remembered the lyrics. Then hubby told me these words were part of an annoying jingle each summer advertising Ontario's Marineland on tv. And wouldn't you know it, he was right!

No matter, I kept the title anyway.

The story behind the painting

This Ice Queen is trying to entice the beautiful Snowy Owl into her magic pouch.

In order to do so, she offers the image, an illusion really, of a willowy, wispy bird, one of many appearing to come out of the little sack.

The Snowy Owl tells the Ice Queen he is aware of her trickery (he is wise as all owls are after all!).

He offers instead to be her spirit guide and warn her of the dangers in the forest.

Will she accept the Snowy Owl's generous offer? She does have a bit of a conniving look to her, don't you think?

I suspect she already has a plan B in her arsenal of deceptions and tricks.

Sketching the idea I had in mind was the first step in the whole process.

I have only recently started sketching and note taking in an inexpensive book kept expressly for emptying my mind when it is racing with ideas.

Steps from start to finish

The sketch was transferred to a canvas and the first layers of charcoal and gesso were applied to suggest areas of shading.

Then I began to add blues and white to the sketch.

After many hours struggling with the details of the face, I was close to being satisfied with the results. It was time to add a background.

Then I painted the headdress, added the Snowy Owl, the sack the Queen is holding, and reworked the background a little more.

Many hours getting lost in the joy of painting.

I did not count the hours. In fact, I did not even see the hours go by; I was lost in the painting as it progressed over several days.

The final work was not quite as I had imagined it, but close enough.

The owl is sitting on a tree trunk rather than on the Ice Queen's shoulders as I had originally intended. I had wanted her to hold a glass container, but that was a bit too much of a challenge for me this time.

I am happy with the way she turned out.  It seems that this painting spoke to my second son and I gave it to him.

And the learning continues...along with the experiments. Here is another wintry scene I painted.

A special thank you to Olga Furman for an inspiring workshop. Visit her website! I am sure you will be enchanted with her art.  (


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