Winter Blues Be Gone
Call it the winter blues, call it the doldrums, call it what you will — it seems that many of us plein-air painters go through a slump about this time of year. Even if the weather is good enough for painting outdoors, nature isn’t always at her finest when we’re waiting for spring to arrive. It can feel as if your creative well has all but frozen over and inspiration has gone dormant.
I was just talking about this with some friends. What surprised me during our conversation are some of the creative ways people have found to break through our particular “seasonal disorder.”
Of course, there are the usual fixes for artists’ block, such as exercise, meditation, journaling, working in another medium and the like. But my friends had some more unusual — and in my opinion, more intriguing– ways to break out of the winter blues.
Pin Your Ideas to an E-nspiration Board
Have you tried Pinterest yet? Much like “pinning” ideas to an inspiration board, you can use your Pinterest account to electronically “pin” anything you find on the web to your own virtual bulletin board.
Look for art that inspires you, subjects you’d like to tackle when painting outside, even color palettes that make your mouth water. Sifting through the inspirational imagery you’ve collected online can be a real boost.
Find The Right Motivation
Finding motivation to get creative online is practically limitless, especially on YouTube and any podcasts that may interest you (and don’t forget here at Artists Network!). And what about searching for how-to art videos across the web?
But the funny thing is, art-centered videos aren’t the only way to find inspiration. Many of my artist friends also find creative ideas in videos, recordings and TV shows that have nothing to do with art, per se, but are about the creative process, like cooking shows or interviews with noted authors.
Use Your Words
If visual images just aren’t cutting it for you, use words instead. Try making a list of words you can use as touchstones for creative inspiration. A quick selection from my touchstone word list includes journey, spirit, bird, map and hunger. This may seem like a rather random assortment, but each one represents something of significance to me, whether it is a memory, a feeling or an idea.
What’s important is to find words or phrases that make you envision your next plein air painting. If not a word or phrase, what about a quote or a famous painting?
It’s Your Turn
What’s the craziest, zaniest, oddest thing you’ve done to melt away your winter blues and heat up your creative spirit? Tell us in the comments!
And, why not turn the winter season into the subject of your next art piece? Check out this preview trailer below of Landscape Painting in Pastel: Winter Mood for a sneak peek into how Liz Haywood-Sullivan works with pastel on black paper to create the mood and motion of a snowy landscape. Enjoy!
Ready to get started? You can stream Haywood-Sullivan’s entire video workshop here. Enjoy!