Leaving the paper white is not enough.
Chinese White deadens the picture.
Payne’s Grey or watery Windsor Blue
can help with shadows under trees.
But how to depict March snow
caught in the ruffles of the daffodil
or drowning snowdrops until only the green
is left poking up through a new fall?
Dead leaves are not hard to draw
but when they shrivel and curl
under hard frost, and become laced in silver
they defy Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber.
Snow blasted into the bark of silver birches
is hard to differentiate
from their own glorious specklement.
Snow reinvents a landscape
hiding its blemishes as though
they have been quietly erased in the night.
Perfection is difficult to paint.