Winter Forms

I love the winter.

This may come as a surprise as I spent 10 years of my life in Miami - but winter has always been and will always be my favorite season. A changed landscape, the snap of cold air in my lungs, the layers of blankets to keep out the chill... everything about it energizes and invigorates me.

While I can't reliably run as much in the winter, and the long days of painting in the woods take a bit more planning and layering, I do still get outside to sketch and explore.

EH Sherman Winterforms
EH Sherman Winterforms

The forms of winter just seem so much more dramatic; the deep reaching purple shadows on the snow, the sepia gradients of leaves frozen at the bottom of a pond, the barreness of the landscape, it all speaks to me so much louder than other seasons.

Winterforms by EH Sherman
EH Sherman Art - Winterforms

If weather doesn't allow for me to sit out and sketch (we've had a few weeks of negative temperatures, makes it a bit hard to hold on to a paint brush and concentrate....) I rely on taking photos and sketching from those when I get back indoors. 

EH Sherman Winterforms sketch

I try to remember the colors that struck me, the rhythm of the shadows, whatever it was that drew me to photograph the scene. Not necessarily to 'reproduce' the arrangement - but explore it's dynamic via paint and line. To play with the forms of winter and discover hidden moments, translating them to paper with a brush.

For these sketches I'm mostly concerned with speed - they aren't something I labor over and risk forgetting the initial spasm of motivation. I use watercolor sticks and block out the forms and colors as quickly as I can. Once I've got a few sketches from the photos made, I slow down and approach the final painting.

I'm a little sad to see this winter season winding down, though I can't say I'm upset about not having to shovel the sidewalk. Spring brings it's own inspirations in different forms and I'll be ready to sketch them too. 

Wishing you all a lovely week!





A Warm (though rather chilly) Welcome to Michigan <3

For me, so much of living in Michigan is about the visuals.

The wide expanse of ochre farmland against a metal gray sky, the lace formed by iced-over branches, the deep emerald of frozen lakes. It may be really, really cold - but I am so glad that we moved to this state in the winter.

I feel like the cold encourages a different type of work from me; smaller, cozier images have started to emerge in my sketches. Moments of stillness. Perhaps that is the change of surroundings, the influence of the silence found in falling snow. Or perhaps my hands are just too cold to move any faster.

I did finally get a space heater, so the following weeks should be much more comfortable.

EH Sherman on Moving to Michigan
EH Sherman Michigan Artist

I’m just so grateful to be finally done with the whole “moving” thing. Living in such a transitory state while trying to get work done wasn’t easy, and I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to be back in my studio. In the coming weeks I’ll have more info on a little digital studio tour, I can’t wait to share my space with you all. 

Hope the new year is off to great start for everyone!

<3 <3


A few pictures from a week spent in Michigan.

I love it when they look like marshmellows...

I love it when they look like marshmellows...

This tree is by the door to my childhood home. I can't get enough of the smell and the *inches* of petals that lie around the base.

This tree is by the door to my childhood home. I can't get enough of the smell and the *inches* of petals that lie around the base.

One of the many family farms that grace the country side of the state.

One of the many family farms that grace the country side of the state.

Though I haven't lived in the state for nearly 9 years, I always treasure the moments I have when I'm back. The air always smells 'green', people are always so, so caring (even to perfect strangers) and the countryside is really quite beautiful.

I'd like to think someday I'll end up back there :)