"The Dark Aisle at Dusk"
Pat Knapp
watercolor 8" X 10"
From a photo by Kelly Schroeter


"Snow Trekker"
Jerry  Weimar

Photograph, Copyright 2001-2008
There is an art to winter in Upstate New York. The early snow and the enchantment of the world being fresh, sparkling, and new; hunkering down, and enjoying the warmth of a hot beverage or soup; digging deep for optimism when it feels as if the marathon is just a bit too long; and then….  behind the scenes, underneath, the freezing and thawing and freezing is nature's way of cleansing, breaking down the dead vegetation, cleaning the water ways, and preparing for another amazing year of rich green growth.
This month’s newsletter explores the Art Of Winter.  We have collected a small sampling of CazArts members’ portraits of Winter.  We hope you enjoy this virtual Winter Gallery.
(Click the Artist names to see their contact information.)
We invite you to join us as we visit some iconic Cazenovia winter wonderlands, and take a trip back in time to Cazenovia’s winter activities and art work in years past.
This month on January 21, at 7:00 PM is the CazArts Annual Members Meeting.  If you are interested, please contact us at  for a Zoom invite.

The CazArts Newsletter is here to be a gathering place for the arts, a place of conversation and local creativity.  If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with a friend.  We greatly appreciate feedback and suggestions.


"Winter Wonderland"
Brooke T Ryan

digital photography
Our Community

"Winter Travels"
Hill Top Studio
Geoffrey Navias
digital photograph

The Wintery Landscape:
a guide for visiting the Art Park
in bluster, shimmer, and occasionally, mud

Winter is a time of chrysalis at the Art Park. Far from being dormant, the landscape remains a site of dynamic change all season long. A visit to the Art Park during the contemplative breath between last season’s verdancy and next season’s bloom can awaken the creative process and offer new and ever-changing perspectives on the art and the land. Try these close observation techniques to enliven your senses and amplify your awareness on your next visit in the cold.

Sayward Schoonmaker

Look down: In wintertime, the confluence of snow, ice, salt, mud, the confetti of plant matter, sun and shadow makes the ground a canvas. As you walk, notice the lines, textures, shadows, and colors around you. Use your body or things like skis or snowshoes to make lines and patterns in the sparkling expanses. Pick a spot and note all that you see on the ground; next time you return, notice how much has changed.

"Blue  Morning"
Geoffrey Navias
digital photograph at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

Look up: No matter the season, the Art Park affords expansive sky viewing. Notice the shapes, colors, and movements you see in the sky. Pay attention to the nature and quality of the lines (overlapping, intersecting, crooked, tangled, elegant) that the bare trees make. 
Look around: Wherever you are in the park, try sensing for a long time. Choose an artwork and look at it for longer than usual. You can set a timer for this exercise, if you like. Note the changes you see and feel as you continue to engage in looking. Do new colors and forms emerge over time? Do new feelings arise? Do any questions emerge? Peek in the windows of the Hilltop House and look around until you spot an object or detail you’ve never noticed before. 

Feel: Try engaging with an artwork using your own physical form, mimicking the work’s shape or enacting the feeling it evokes with your body. Does moving and shaping your body in response to the art reveal new meanings or observations?

Sayward Schoonmaker

Listen: Winter brings with it a riot of sound—the crunch of  snow under foot (or paw), the rattle of branches against a stiff wind. Is the wind harp on picnic hill singing today? What other sounds travel to your body? Note the difference in the sounds you hear or the way the sounds carry across the land on a windy day, a warm day, or the morning after a big snow. 


Sonja Hinrichsen, Snow Drawings 2016
Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

Bob Gates, photo

Smell: Stand in place and inhale and exhale mindfully. In the piney woods, can you smell the pine needles, or catch a remaining whiff of pitch or sap? What is the smell of snow? Of the air? Does the weather affect what you smell?
Taste: Perhaps an absurd suggestion to those who find the cold intolerable, but a winter picnic is possible. Bring a thermos of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa and stash a cookie or two in your pockets! 
While you are away: Visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media to experience the park virtually and learn of new sights, sounds, and senses of art and landscape.
May the winter enrich your creativity!

Sayward Schoonmaker is the Artistic Director of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

The Art of Winter

Art can be a very broadly defined term. What comes to mind first are the visual and performing arts, but there’s also an art to many other forms of expression…the art of cooking, the art of diplomacy, the art of living.
This month, we’re focusing on the “Art of Winter,” in the various ways Cazenovians have interpreted the idea. From the era-defining paintings by Merrill Bailey, which have adorned the hallowed walls of the Seven Stone Steps at the Lincklaen House for generations, to photos and paintings of the gone-but-not-forgotten ice boat and horse races on Cazenovia Lake, winter has stirred our community to capture and embrace its many facets in art and life.


Skaters on Carpenter's Pond
Merrill Bailey

Post Card
The artist most identified with Cazenovia’s winters is, without a doubt, Merrill Bailey (1909-1981). Bailey’s paintings capture a bygone era: one when horse-drawn sleighs pulled families through snow-covered streets, when oil lamps cast their warm glow on frigid sidewalks and skating on Carpenter’s Pond was the epitome of family entertainment.

Some of these activities were spontaneous family outings, at a time when Smart TVs, cell phones, and video games didn’t provide an indoor escape from winter’s bitter charms. Others were initiated by the Cazenovia Outdoor Club, a community-based organization active between 1922 and 1927, which was interested in bringing the Cazenovia community together during the more isolating winter months. Many of the events they hosted lasted long beyond the club’s existence.

Horse Races on the Lake
Merrill Bailey

Post Card

Bailey’s paintings, some of which captured the winter charms of our village, were commercially viable and were reproduced by Nashco Products, a New York City-based company that produced tin serving trays. His images were used to decorate coasters, appetizer plates, and for other entertaining purposes.

The Cazenovia Public Library has a collection of these small coasters/plates that were donated by Charles and Danna DeVaul in 2019. The Library’s collection also includes a large assortment of postcards bearing these images. What these paintings reflect is a genuine celebration of life and community during the long and cold winters that descended upon our village.

In addition to Bailey’s paintings at the Lincklaen House, photographs in the collection of the Cazenovia Public Library capture groups of folks taking part in the Winter Picnic, an annual event organized by the Cazenovia Outdoor Club in the 1920s that drew as many as 400 people to Chittenango Falls and Shelter Valley.

The Club provided soup, coffee, cocoa, “frankforts” and rolls, milk, coffee, cream, sugar, and cocoa.  Attendees brought toboggans and sleds and sat around small fires to stay warm in between runs. The club also organized snowshoe and ski races on Saturday afternoons. The races began at Carpenter’s Barns and “the distance was not too great for beginners or women to negotiate,” as stated in a 1939 article in the Cazenovia Republican. The event finished up with coffee and doughnuts for participants. These outings brought friends and families together and genuinely captured the art of living with winter in Cazenovia.

Thanks to Elisha Davies, Julie Shotzberger, and Pat Hill of Cazenovia Publis Library to the assistance in researching this piece.
 Katherine Rushworth, of Cazenovia, is a free lance writer,  former director of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center (State University College at Fredonia) and of the Central New York Institute for the Arts in Education.  Photos & article by Katherine Rushworth

Cazenovia Buildings with Snow


"Snowstorm on Albany Street"
Wayne Daniels
oil on panel

"Winter Gifts"
Geoffrey Navias
digital photograph

"The Century House"
Wayne Daniels
oil on panel

Dave Porter
driveway snow sculpture

"Maple Road in Winter"
Deb Wester
20" x 24" oil on canvas

"Empire in the Winter"
Judith Haynes  Levins

"Thanksgiving Morning, Erieville"
Jerry  Weimar
Photograph, Copyright

"Making Tracks"
Bobbie Flintrop

11" x 14" oil on panel


Hearing Winter


Isabella Bresett

That first dusting of white that brings smiles to young faces and brightens the grey landscape of late fall – magical, no matter how many times one has witnessed the transition.  But when it is not winter, and I close my eyes and try to imagine January, my memories of the sounds of winter overpower the visual memories of the season.
I have lived in my old house long enough.  I am able to discern the first sound of a winter storm wind, its distinctly different from the wind at any other time of year; some mathematical relationship between the percentage of deciduous leaf cover lost from the maple trees in my yard and the compass point from whence the wind is blowing. It’s a sound that calls on primal instincts to squirrel away a few more provisions and throw an extra log on the fire.


Isabella Bresett

Other days, however, winter is quiet. The day-to-day contrast of the winter soundscape is
unlike that of any other season. Several inches of newly fallen powder absorbs every sound like quilt batting, and the world is muffled on those days when big flakes are falling and every wild creature is hidden away. On cold clear days the air is thin and sounds are sharp and, without the summer leaves, carry over such surprising distances. On these stillest of winter afternoons, it seems that the thunk of the splitting maul hitting into the ash log, and the subsequent blows against the chopping block before the log finally splits in two, must be audible all the way across the lake. 

Some days, my time on the trail is quiet, the schuss of skis on powdery flakes, the product of the previous night’s lake effect. Other days there is the loud squeaking of boots in snowshoe bindings and the grating crunch of the crampons on the patches of hard icy snow or perhaps the unique Styrofoam squeak of boots on very, very cold snow that I hear.

Meg Harris
11" x 15" watercolor

On this day, I smile at the sound of the stream, the water glugging and chortling under the forming ice, the sounds ridiculous, slightly embarrassing almost, and reminiscent of the kinds of sounds that make young children giggle when generated by their own gurgling tummies. It is incongruous with the austere grey sky and flat light.
Hear that, the woodpeckers and nuthatches (who are resident here year-round and certainly not unnoticed in the warmer months) come into their own in the winter.

Jim Ridlon
collage painting

I do love the incredible stillness early in the morning, on the clearest and coldest of days, before the birds have roused themselves to the feeders and there is not yet even the slightest breath of a breeze.  The only sound is the jingle of the dog collar, ringing out from the distant perimeter of the yard, where morning rounds are being made to sniff out what visitors passed through in the night. One never hears that kind of quiet in the summer, when we are never without the incessant movement of insects and other small creatures, their sounds rising and falling in pitch and volume at various points throughout the day and night, but never actually ceasing.

Isabella Bresett

When you next walk the trail in the still of a winter morning, listen…the sounds of your own movement in the snow and the sounds present when you stop.  And when darkness falls and the wind picks up, buffeting the northwest corner of the house, find comfort and safety in the sound of the crackling hearth and, perhaps, in the faint snoring of your four-legged walking companion, tired after the hours spent following the criss-crossing tracks of small animals and deer, stretched out in the warmth near the fire.
For information on Cazenovia area trails where you can take a winter “sound walk”, visit or

Jen Wong is the Executive Director of the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation
Winter Trees
Shadows and the Snow

Meg Harris
11" x 15" watercolor
"The Four Snow Tops"
Jerry  Weimar
Photograph, Copyright 2001-2008

"Winter Maple"
Buzz Padgett

iPad painting

"Ponds Shoreline, December"
Mary Padgett

Meg Harris
11" x 15" watercolor
Resources for Artists
Explore this site if you are an artists who is looking to put your work in shows.

Ten virtual tours of beautiful places around the world


"The Rectory"
Wayne Daniels

oil on panel
CazArts Newsletter:
January  2021
Editor: Geoffrey Navias
Copy editor: Kristi Andersen
Production consultant: Shawn McGuire
Subscriptions:  Cathy Savage
Interviews & articles this month: Sayward Schoonmaker ~ Katherine Rushworth ~
Jen Wong

CazArts Board:
Barb Bartlett, Lauren Lines, Shawn McGuire, Geoffrey Navias, Buzz Padgett,  Colleen Prossner, Cathy Savage, Kim Waale

All inquiries, feedback, ideas for future articles: 
Creative Alliance

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