Winter Glow, 8 x 24, acrylic Janis Commentz in a private collection
Nurture YOUR CREATIVE SIDE even when it’s cold outside!
In this busiest of seasons, I send you greetings and encouragement! The holiday season is filled with a variety of colors, scents, emotions and a distracting array of activities! As days grow shorter, we seek light-- metaphorically – an, as an artist, literally.
Winter daylight, casting deep shadows, creates a surreal backdrop. Snow glistens on majestic mountains. Dramatic shadows drape themselves on buildings and stone structures. Warm afternoon light bathes a a holiday table or a pet in a window.
Before this inspiring winter light slips away, nurture your creativity. I believe we are creative beings made in the image of a creative God. Observe the winter beauty of the season. Make a mental note or even better, I encourage you to record your surrounding in a quick sketch! Even a hasty contour sketch with indications of shadows can be an inspiration for a future painting. We rely heavily on photographs, but we know the eye provides intimate and accurate information and color as a camera cannot. Plein air artists understand this well. No matter your painting style or art form, light and contrast deeply affect your work.
Celebrate the reason for the season, enjoy special moments with your loved ones, but take time to record the effects of the changing course of the sun, especially as we approach the shortest day of the year. Here are a few wonderful paintings by well- known painters--just to contemplate.
The Magpie by Claud Monet
Winter Landscape Caspar David Friedrich
Washington Square, Ashcan School painter, Everett Shinn
20th Century Japanese woodblock artist, Hiroshi Yoshida, shows the subtle colors of a barren landscape with the snow covered mountain in Suzukawa.
Or the longest day of the year! As our connectedness to other parts of the globe increases, I am profoundly aware of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer during December. As I watch posts from artists in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and more, I am more curious about December in this warm zone. It has been very enlightening (pun intended) to see posts about art exhibits, open studios and workshops from these regions. Three artists that come to mind are Richard Claremont (Sydney, Australia), Beth Lowe (Kommetjie, Cape Town), and Tracy Verdugo (New South Wales, Australia). Their sunny creations pierce our northern hemisphere with warm beauty!
The Day, Pitwater, Richard Claremont
Stillbay, Beth Lowe
Home by the Sea, Tracy Verdugo
As a painter, I feel my strongest images have emerged from the winter light and longer shadows.
The painting at the beginning of this post emerged a after a Christmas Day hike in Joshua Tree National Park. Golden Glow captures the late afternoon sunlight.
Wishing your many afternoons of sunshine!
Note: The last 15 months have challenged us! This month I encourage you to learn from the isolation and I wish you a cautious, but joyous June reopening!
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