Flying South

Merrill Coffin’s “Flying South” is a poignant winter piece that beautifully encapsulates the essence of migration and the changing seasons. The foreground showcases a vast cornfield, its once-tall stalks now harvested, peeking through a blanket of snow in four neat rows. The remnants of the cornstalks provide a textural contrast, a reminder of the summer’s abundance now covered by winter’s chill.

Amidst the snowy landscape, four Canadian Geese gracefully traverse the field, their dark silhouettes stark against the white backdrop. With a keen eye for detail, Coffin captures a moment of foraging, as the geese explore the terrain, perhaps in search of lingering corn kernels before embarking on their southward journey.

At the heart of the composition sits a snow-covered rustic barn, its weathered facade and missing wood panels telling tales of time and history. The barn stands as a stoic sentinel amidst the winter scene, adding character and depth to the overall narrative.

In the background, a majestic snow-covered mountain provides a stunning contrast to the flatness of the cornfield. The snowy peaks contribute to the overall sense of tranquility and isolation, emphasizing the quiet beauty of the winter landscape.

The attention to detail extends to the small birch trees surrounding the barn, their slender trunks and delicate branches adorned with a dusting of snow. These trees add a touch of elegance to the rustic setting, emphasizing the natural harmony that exists even in the harshest of seasons.

As the focal point transitions to the upper left corner of the canvas, three geese take flight, their wings cutting through the chilly air as they begin their migratory journey south. This moment captures the essence of transition and movement, as nature adapts to the changing seasons.

“Flying South” is a masterful composition that skillfully combines the harsh beauty of winter with the inherent grace of migratory birds, inviting viewers to reflect on the cyclical nature of life and the interconnectedness of the natural world.


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