Land of Weather

Cover image ‘Land of Weather’ by Karinna Gomez


(This piece features in the December edition of the Connemara Journal.)


About  a year ago, I bought two etchings by an artist called Karinna Gomez. Karinna is from Fairbanks, Alaska in the United States. She makes small series of prints – mezzotints, woodcuts and etchings, sometimes hand coloured with water colours. To my shame, these prints were only recently taken out of their packaging and given the frames they deserve.  Now that they have pride of place in my home I can honestly say that I take pleasure from them every single day.

There is something wonderfully mysterious about this icy place, so isolated and exposed, it reminds me a little of Connemara. I love the contrast between the white hills and valley and the dark central group of trees, lit by red and orange speckles. These are ‘persimmons’ – an orange red fruit that grows on the ebony tree and which can tolerate and adapt to a wide range of climates, including harsh northern weather. They beam like tiny beacons in this wonderful scene and seem to me to be symbols of hope and optimism which is perhaps fitting as we reach the end of another year.


Persimmons in the snow

 ‘Persimmons in the Snow’ by Karinna Gomez




December is a good time for reflection and I feel grateful to be able to say that I have had a rich and fulfilling year. I thank God too that my family are all in good health. I know that this is not so for everyone and  I think of some of my closest friends especially who have had a difficult twelve months for different reasons. Whatever our circumstances, I think it is part of the human condition to look forward to the coming year with hopefulness and expectation. These are some of the thoughts which I have brought to this poem below as a kind of homage to this beautiful etching.




Land of Weather

after the etching ‘Land of Weather’ by Karinna Gomez






looks down

on that snowy


It is so cold there,

wild abandoned place.

Vastness and silence stretch

sharply over snow and ice,

empty hills retreat into fathomless black.

Billow of cloud rushed by a northern breeze,

braced in the heart – a startle of persimmon trees.


Survivors huddle together.

Nest of tangled debris,

silver twigs, tiers

of frozen leaves,

scattered boughs.

Berries pulse a blood red tint,

flashes of gold flood

the moonless night –



of an earth bound





Deborah Watkins



If you would like to see some more of Karinna’s work, you can visit her shop at  – type KarinnaGomez in the search box. Her works are for sale at remarkably low prices, so why not treat yourself or a loved one to something special.


Polar Places

I came across an artist on recently whose work I really connected with. I think this was particularly so in light of my own recent work about an imagined frozen landscape. The artist is Karinna Gomez from Fairbanks, Alaska in the United States. She makes small series of prints – mezzotints, woodcuts and etchings, sometimes handcoloured with watercolours as with the print above. This piece is called Persimmons in the Snow. Persimmons are an orange red fruit that grow on the Ebony tree. These trees can tolerate and adapt to a wide range of climates including harsh Northern weather. I love the striking contrast between the white hills and snow covered valley and the dark central group of trees that are lit by by these red speckles, a kind of  earth bound constellation. I love too the vastness and silence that is suggested by the empty retreating hills and the dark sky beyond them. The only colour in the piece and the only sign of growth and life is this tiny little fruit. My second favourite piece (below) is like the first. This one is called Land of Weather .


Land of Weather by Karinna Gomez





The features of the previous piece are here, light versus dark and a grouping of dark fruit lit trees. There is more sky here though and an icy breeze seems to move across in a flurry of cloud. The central grove is bowl shaped and is cradled by the expansive landscape on all sides. They stand like a resilient group of survivors struggling against the elements.

The last piece I have included here is a mezzotint called Icelandic Water below. This is a slightly different printing technique which allows half tones of colour to be produced.


Icelandic Water by Karinna gomez




Darkness dominates this piece, punctuated only by white streaks and lights. The snow capped mountain in the background makes way for the night sky dotted with a few tiny stars. The title suggests that the large expanse in front might be water. It is broken up with bright uniform shapes that look like something man made or are they reflections or perhaps both? When I wrote to Karinna, she told me that she is drawn to the histories of polar exploration and aspects of Northern life such as self sufficiency, independence and solitude. Also the weather, land and geography of the North. Her work is an attempt to make imagery that expresses these primary interests.

If you like what you have seen here, check out Karinna’s work in her etsy shop. Her beautiful limited edition prints are very reasonably priced.