Winter Freeze

Meredith d'Ambrosio

Meredith d’Ambrosio

One day later, it began to snow againa second storm! I ventured outside with plastic bags strapped to my boots and leggings, and plodded through the white-out to a steep winding downhill road, carrying a thick wooden board. I planned to sketch the barely discernible scene at the bottom of the road.—Meredith d’Ambrosio

The Disappearing Land

By Meredith d’Ambrosio

Meredith d'Ambrosio

DUXBURY Massachusetts—(Weekly Hubris)—2/23/2015—

“After the Blizzard of ‘78,” Eggshell Mosaic, 26” X 16” (1978).

“After the Blizzard of ‘78,” Eggshell Mosaic, 26” X 16” (1978).

I lived in Newton, Massachusetts in the 70s in a garret apartment with a ladder in the piano room which led to the roof. My mornings were spent on the roof eating breakfast. A towering, sprawling old copper beech tree covered the front yard, so huge that it almost hid the house from sight. The house was a graceful stucco Victorian mansion with green trim. From the housetop, I could step onto one of the branches of the beech. I could see the whole city of Boston from the roof, and named it my tree house. The great blizzard of 1978 hit Newton with five-foot-high snow mounds. Cars were forbidden to be on the streets in Newton for one week. I watched people below making tracks with their skis and snowshoes, which looked like tennis rackets. One day later, it began to snow again—a second storm! I ventured outside with plastic bags strapped to my boots and leggings, and plodded through the white-out to a steep winding downhill road, carrying a thick wooden board. I planned to sketch the barely discernible scene at the bottom of the road. Trudging back home in this treacherous storm was even more difficult, climbing the steep hill through the high drifts, but I was looking forward with excitement to beginning my next eggshell mosaic. The blizzard seems like yesterday. I shall never forget it.

“Glen Lake,” Oil on Canvas, 30” X 20” (2006).

“Glen Lake,” Oil on Canvas, 30” X 20” (2006).

After an afternoon of exploring and memorizing the tiny town of New Boston, New Hampshire, my friend Fred and I picnicked on a hill after the completion of my final sketch. We decided to search for another place near this picturesque hamlet before the daylight dwindled. Instinct suggested that we should head northwest. Soon, we were passing through an intriguing scene in Goffstown. Glen Lake was inviting us to stay. I found an area near the lake to sit and sketch. The shape of the old church in the far background immediately caught my attention. Soon, I was concentrating on the shapes and colors of the rocks and on many other details in this scene. It was almost dark, so I took a photograph to remind me of details I might have missed. We were heading back to Massachusetts with many beautiful scenes of the day swimming around in my imagination.

“Taos Snowstorm,” Watercolor, 21.5” X 29.5” (2003).

“Taos Snowstorm,” Watercolor, 21.5” X 29.5” (2003).

On our walk around the Taos Upper Valley my late husband, Eddie, and I found ourselves suddenly caught in a blizzard. Details along the road became difficult to discern. Beyond the faint car tracks, the snowy hill in the distance appeared like a big white bear crawling up the hillside. When we saw that image, we knew it was time to head back to the Thunderbird Lodge to prepare for the night’s concert, lest we lose our way. I quickly jotted down a few scribbles on a small pad and we retraced our steps to safely return to the lodge.

Meredith d'Ambrosio

About Meredith d'Ambrosio

Boston-born Meredith d’Ambrosio, a Renaissance woman whose creative work crosses many genres, has successfully combined careers in the musical and visual arts. In 1958, in Boston, d’Ambrosio began singing with small bands, accompanied by Roger Kellaway on piano. Although she has worked primarily as a jazz singer-pianist, she is also known internationally as a calligrapher, watercolorist, creator of eggshell mosaics, composer, lyricist, recording artist, and teacher. D’Ambrosio branched out into New York City in 1981 and, since then, has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing with such musicians as Harold Danko, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Fred Hersch, Eddie Higgins, Dick Hyman, Hank Jones, Lee Musiker, Mike Renzi, Richard Wyands, Milt Hinton, Major Holley, Jay Leonhart, Michael Moore, George Mraz, Rufus Reid, Leroy Vinnegar, Buddy DeFranco, Harry Allen, Lee Konitz, Ken Peplowski, Phil Woods, Jack Sheldon, Al Grey, Johnny Frigo, Gene Bertoncini, Kevin Eubanks, Joe Ascione, Terry Clarke, Keith Copeland, Jake Hanna, Butch Miles and Ben Riley (view d’Ambrosio’s complete discography at www.meredithdambrosio.com). Currently working primarily in oils on canvas, d’Ambrosio is preparing for a major solo exhibition, November 2015 through February 2016, at the Art Complex Museum of Duxbury, Massachusetts. “Landscapes Of The North Countries” will comprise oils on canvas and linen, as well as watercolors, and include scenes from France, Italy, Switzerland, North America, and Canada, as well as new oils of Duxbury, commissioned by the museum. D’Ambrosio’s paintings, both watercolors and oils, may be viewed through www.meredithdambrosio.com, her multifaceted website, which covers her work as a musician, painter, and writer.
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6 Responses to Winter Freeze

  1. Avatar Anita Sullivan says:

    Meredith, your paintings are a feast for the eye, yes, but also they nourish and stimulate the spirit in deep and lasting ways. So amazing. I am so grateful for what you do!

  2. Avatar diana says:

    Eggshell mosaic, what a wonderful idea. I can’t believe you can sing and paint so beautifully — Renaissance woman.

  3. Avatar Laura says:

    Very nice work, Meredith.
    I was born in Newton, Ma. :)

    Keep up the good work,
    Laura Kolb

  4. Dear Anita,
    Your touching words are motivating for me! I step out of my painting mode and I’m drawn into the paintings in a very spiritual way. They nourish my soul as I stand there reviewing them. I find this to be a very healing thing and, I hope, for others.
    Thank you.
    Meredith

  5. Dear Diana,
    Thank you so much. It seems that my painting and singing go hand.
    Best wishes,
    Meredith

  6. Hi Laura,
    Thank you kindly. Have we ever met? Do you still live in Newton?
    Meredith

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