-By Greg Manchess
Lowell Birge Harrison
either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs on June 21 or 22 and the winter solstice on December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the solstices are exactly the opposite. For several days around the time of the solstices, the sun's appearance on the horizon at sunrise and sunset seems to occur at the same spot, before it starts drifting to the north or south again.
Solstice gets its shine from sol, the Latin word for "sun." The ancients added sol to -stit- ("standing") and came up with solstitium. Middle English speakers shortened solstitium to solstice in the 13th century.
Winter, traditionally thought of as a time of in-gathering and introspection, has for me become a beloved season for expression, mind-opening, and immersive thinking. The dark and soulful emptiness that saddens many extrudes an awareness not as easily claimed when the world is bright and warm.
Winter celebrations and Winter paintings savor the long darkness and accent the bright spots of light that bring warmth and hope. The Winter themes pictured here may add depth to your favorite selections, for certainly a variety of techniques and concepts broadens our appreciation for the range of creative expression.
John White Alexander