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More Iconographies

what’s it all about…?

tell me the story










I have always enjoyed talking about the imagery of Moss’ artwork. I use the word “imagery,” but often times the technical term is “iconography,” which simply means the meaning of symbols or images (icons) within a piece.


So when referring to “icons,” I refer to symbols that the artist uses to create the picture being painted; and I describe these symbols to explain the content within the image. Sometimes I will also direct your attention to a particular method or technique that the artist uses to convey a particular feeling.




the representations within a picture are influenced by an artist’s life experiences such as: philosophical beliefs, history itself, or any number of things that have made an impression on the artist.


I hope you enjoy the series of imagery studies that will be posted on my website, and I hope that I can introduce you to another facet of this artist’s works.


now, let’s take a closer look/ see

“Colonial Winter,” a typical Moss print, features an Amish couple riding in a horse-drawn sleigh on a beautiful winter’s day.


The Bruton Parish Church, located in the heart of historic Williamsburg, VA, has been artistically removed from its original site and has become a focal point nestled in the background of the image. This historic structure, which was restored in the 1930s, has witnessed life since the 1700s and continues to thrive to this day.


Pat’s use of negative space (space which has no paint) is wonderful in 

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this piece. With just a few sweeps of a greyish- blue paint and her incorporation of negative space, the viewer knows it is the winter season. The sweeping horizontal lines that create the elevations give the viewer a sense of freshly fallen snow drifts within the scene.


Note that the cold is not felt because the artist imparts a feeling of coziness and comfort.  The rich color of the church and the soft hues in the blanket that warms the couple adds all of the warmth needed to enjoy the beauty of this piece.


The clusters of birch trees not only add balance to the image, but notice that although they have leaves, the leaves do not hide or impair the scene. Instead, they pull the viewer farther into the image, almost to the horizon.


Now, listen carefully to hear the silence created by the snow-blanketed earth and even the faint jingle of the bells as the horse pulls the sleigh to places unknown or perhaps to the church itself.


the spirit of a historic structure is preserved


Pat has captured not only the simplicity and dignity of the Amish couple in “Colonial Winter,” but she has maintained - in beauty - a small part of the history of Colonial America. She has captured the architectural beauty of a building that has witnessed life through centuries of change, growth and development. By including the Bruton Parish Church as the subtle focal point in this image, she has protected its importance and significance to Colonial times and our history as a nation. Thus its influence is not lost or wasted in a modern world. Its significance endures - not to be taken lightly; never to be forgotten.


How fun it is to realize that not only can one own a beautiful image for the wall, but it has another story to tell - a story to share!



To learn more about the Bruton Parish Church of Williamsburg, VA visit their website:

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