The Wonderbread Truck Stuck in a Snowstorm

January 11, 2018 | Jen McB

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Sometimes I will teach painting classes and a prompt I like to give is "the Wonderbread truck stuck in a snowstorm." You begin by asking yourself what that would look like. I know, I saw it this one time – large dots suspended in a blizzard. Perhaps laughing at a funny image is the first step towards changing our minds on the cold.  Finding something unusual to discuss is how you begin creating art.  Our prompt gives us clues. In this one sentence we have the subjects of snow and bread.  It is time to go to the library and do our research phase.       

Wavelength

If you do a search on "Canadian Art" and "snow", the first person you will find is well known to large galleries. Michael Snow, whose claim to art stardom is mostly about the repetition of images. Images within images. Photocopies of photocopies. Slightly unfocused or altered narrations of seemingly little events. It all gets blurred and snowy. It's not my style but I love to rethink about all the disintegration, what does it all mean and should it mean anything?  I wonder about the bread truck.  

Billboard 1993

You might find the singer Snow. I looked up the lyrics to "Informer" and again we are dealing with a blurring, but this time of words. I can remember the cadence of the song I heard on the radio in my youth. To read it, it has a completely different vibe. Time also has this blurring effect, perhaps when I am 80, I'll be thinking of this snow drift song and blurting out random words I think I know to grandbots and their real pets. It could happen.  You can definitely date yourself when a crucial Canadian anthem from the 90s is now a reference CD.  Music by Snow, while researching snow for a winter arts and culture blog.         

You are likely also thinking of the Group of Seven. I would like to tell you that modern Canadian artists equally love all things snow. I could point to Doris McCarthy as being a recent contributor to snow art that you may recognize. I could also give Peter Doig a high five for occasionally making "snow" a subject, but he sold out for a warmer climate.  Certainly look to them for how they have tackled the subject. 

So who has great things on the subject of snow, that we should all try to read up on if we could, if such books were to continue to be written and be published for the public betterment, in bitter cold and snowy times as these?    

Annie Pootoogook

Ted Harrison
Kim Dorland

In case you wanted to know more about bread, we have books on that too. I imagine researching bread to be a very tasty occupation.  Yes these are books on bread, but they are also great for photo references that do not need to be recharged.      

 

Slow dough

One dough

  I love my instant pot vegan

I look forward to the bright cold days after a snowstorm. The light is perfect for making art. I will gladly shovel if it means the gloom from winter will just go away. Maybe I will paint a still life of bread, maybe against a table linen, maybe going mushy in the snow. If I leave the details vague enough, then the viewer gets to decide.  Bread has been a wonderful inspiration for centuries.  Bonus points if you take the title prompt further and look up trucks.      

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