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’ 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
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,
Berries pulse a blood red tint,
flashes of gold flood
the moonless night –
of an earth bound
If you would like to see some more of Karinna’s work, you can visit her shop at www.etsy.com – 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.