My Creative Wintering.
Winter for me, especially after Christmas can sometimes feel like an effort, energy is on a less enthusiastic level of charge but yet still my head is buzzing from my busy selling time, with a continued sense of urgency and rush to get things done.
This new year I decided to focus on feeling into the season, looking to nature to see what was going on and take my cues from it. In doing so I allowed myself to fall into the call to hibernation, letting myself go at a slower pace, focusing on activities that suited my energy. It freed me from feeling I should roar into the year at a flying pace with goals and improvements, instead I went at a whisper, treating myself softly and letting go of judgement on what I thought I should be achieving.
By allowing winter in this way I have found it much easier than I usually do. By now seeing winter...not as something to suffer and trudge through until warmer brighter days come, but to embrace the slower energy and soak up the cosy moments only winter brings, so when the time comes, I am fully restored and ready to spring.
Through a podcast I was listening to (On being) interviewing author Katherine May, I was introduced to her book called ‘Wintering’, she writes;
"Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximising scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible."
I have used my time of wintering nurturing my creativity, getting back into the studio to paint and draw, do sketchbook practice just for fun, jotting down
ideas as they bubble up and keeping up journaling.
This has led to new ideas emerging and...
a new painting...
My latest painting is inspired by the winter season, my rural surroundings and the feeling of getting cosy and making a nest for winter. It is to date the largest painting I have done which was a good gentle challenge.
Whilst adding the finishing touches to my painting I listened to Katherine May’s book ‘Wintering’ on Audible. Her words aligned so perfectly with my painting which is an expression of so much I've been feeling and thinking about these winter months, so I called my painting ‘Wintering’ as it felt so fitting.
Brene Brown says; "It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol." I find this to be so true, it’s easy to slip into and to get caught up in the expectations of others.
" Nobody had ever said to me before, "You need to live a life that you can cope with, not the one that other people want. Start saying no. Just do one thing a day. No more than two social events in a week." I owe my life to him. "
~ Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times ~
Now the snowdrops are appearing and green shoots burst daily through the winter earths crust. I too feel myself emerging from my time of inner reflection, of leaving goals and plans for a little bit longer, nourishing myself with creative practice, connecting with things that feed my soul through groups, listening, reading, journaling, healthy food, meditation, cosy dinners with friends, warm blankets and open fires. Now I reach my new shoots tentatively into the next season, better prepared for having allowed myself a period of wintering.
My painting ‘Wintering’ is part of the North Down Craft Collective Exhibition at the Wildlife bird sanctuary Castle Espie this month. 5th ~ 27th February 2022.