Why I need colour in winter and 5 tips to surviving the 'winter blues'
If you have been following my Instagram feed over the past couple of months you may have witnessed a colour explosion.
As soon as we hit winter here in Sydney I’m on a mission to bring colour into my house and into the lives of others. Winter can be a hard time for some people, especially for those who crave light and sunshine. That would be me! Shorter days, more time inside, less time to exercise… all of these things can even bring on a kind of SADness (seasonal affective disorder). Let’s face it, winter in Australia (well Sydney) is not that severe but I’m sure I’m not the only one counting down the days til spring.
Actually, by the time we reach my birthday (August 22) it’s already feeling like spring. The air is filled with the scent of flowering cherry blossoms and freesias. I just noticed the other day that magnolias are starting to bloom….the first of the spring awakening.
Two weekends in a row in June, my daughter Sienna and I, woke up to the darkness of an early Saturday morning and drove to the Sydney Flower Markets. Walking into a huge warehouse filled to the brim with flowers of every colour and shape is absolutely overwhelming, and a delight for the senses. We went a little bit crazy (Lilies, poppies, peonies, delphiniums, wattle, banksia, baby’s breath)…but let me tell you those flowers lasted for weeks and provided me with LOADS of inspiration. In fact so much inspiration that I will save some of my sketches for future posts, but here’s a selection - most are watercolour sketches or watercolour and gouache on paper, the Matisse looking one is an acrylic on canvas and see if you can pick the oil on canvas board and oil pastels on paper.
Some of these sketches provided inspiration for larger works that are well and truely on their way - I’ll share these once they are finished.
Miss Millie has loved being surrounded by flowers !!
So yes there is a reason why I’m painting with loads of colour and the subject matter over the past two months has been mostly flowers. They make me happy and bring me joy! And don’t we all need a little more happiness and joy in winter? Colour touches my soul to the deepest level. I’m fascinated by this and plan to do some research into why this is so. (I’m curious about ALOT of things). I find it so easy to get into a meditative state (‘flow’) while drawing and painting flowers.. Eckhart Tolle explains why this could be so in a book that I’m reading and re- reading this winter season….
So just in case you’ve been feeling a little down lately and need some tips on how to make it through winter, I’m going to share one tip a day for the next 5 days on how to survive those winter blues.
Surviving the winter blues
Tip #1 ~Surround yourself with colour
Buy some bright colourful flowers and place them front and centre. If they have an amazing fragrance…even better to fill your house with a delicious scent to remind you that spring is coming.
Dig out some coloured pencils or paints and colour something in. To help you out I have included a quick sketch that you can print off right now so there’s no excuses! (I’d love to see your colourful creations, so please post them here or send them onto me:) Hint: This is a black and white drawing of one of the water colour sketches of poppies earlier in this post. Feel free to use that as a guide. (Free printable at the end of this post)
Go for a walk and take photos of as many colourful items that you can find. Colour is all around you, you just need to pay attention. Hint: I have some beautiful turquoise pots and vases that are currently on display near my front door - I love seeing them as I walk in the door.
Wear something colourful ! No black for me in winter time. I just bought the most amazing poncho/blanket (for $15) that is bright pink and I’ve been wearing it a lot :) Dig out those colourful clothes and wear them with joy!
What are some other ways that you use colour to help you get through winter?
Would love to hear some other thoughts below :)