Living in the countryside in the north of Britain, it's easy to feel glum and uninspired in the dark winter months. Compared to the colours, light, and warmth of summer, the bleakness of winter can feel downright uninspiring for creative endeavours or even just attempting to capture a sense of cheer...
I'm on a dog walk in February, with eyes stinging from the wind, cheeks bitter and raw with the icy rain, nose running, fingers numb, and both feet sliding away from each other in thick gloopy mud....
It's pretty easy to find beauty and connect with nature in summer and in the beautiful places. Tougher in a muddy, Yorkshire landscape!
But it's so much more meaningful to lean into the bleakness, not try to shut it out.
There is a certain, special beauty in this type of bleakness, too. I notice the energy of the wind and the rain, the vastness of the skies and the everchanging nature of the world around us.
Looking at the detail of nature helps us connect with the world around us more deeply. This is one of the reasons I love to put so much detail into my artworks, as it helps us to connect right back with nature again when we look at them.
The details we connect with in winter are the subtle ones - a pattern made by grasses or leaves, the light of the sky, the detail of a trunk, or the unity of a wood of trees, the veins on a leaf - but they are the strong, persistent, solid, permanent ones that survive the storm of the season.
In the bleakness, you can take time out, a time for your thoughts and ideas to breathe, to percolate, to come alive.
Making an effort to connect with nature in winter, we can feel the grounding and same solid permanence in our own heart. We can discover solidity within ourselves and love the beauty and necessity of the bleakness that lives in our own souls sometimes, as well as the joy and gratitude we live.
If you'd like to enjoy my art as a way of connecting with nature, take a look at some of my nature-inspired pieces below...