I’ve been waiting for it to snow in southern Wisconsin, so I could finish this painting, the fourth in my Greek Myth series, of the goddess of the hunt, Artemis. My huntress has left the brilliant sunlight of Greece for northern climes and the peace of the snowy forest. Last Sunday I skied in fresh snow on the hills of Governor Dodge State Park, where this landscape is set. Today, I went skiing in Blue Mounds State Park in very warm weather. I didn’t need my Norwegian sweater, so Artemis can keep it a while longer.
Here is a poem about the north, written by someone who is also Finnish, and shares my love of the north woods.
Driving at Night
Up north, dashboard lights of the family car
gleam in memory, the radio
plays to itself as I drive
my father plied the highways
while my mother talked, she tried to hide
that low lilt, that Finnish brogue,
in the back seat, my sisters and I
our eyes always tied to the Big Dipper
I watch it still
on summer evenings, as the fireflies stream
above the ditches and moths smack
into the windshield and the wildlife’s
red eyes bore out from the dark forests
we flew by, then scattered like the last bit of star
light years before.
It’s like a different country, the past
we made wishes on unnamed falling stars
that I’ve forgotten, that maybe were granted
because I wished for love.
Artemis and her Hounds, Oil on Canvas, 22×28, Sold