For some, the winter is ideal time for slowing down. The shorter days and lower temperatures intensify the temptation of a nice midwinter’s rest. But, as many of our artists know: inspiration does not hibernate.
In some ways, as the busy world slows down, creativity speeds up. So, we asked several of our UGallery artists to reflect on their wintertime inspirations. And, here is what they said:
Nanci Erskine: “I’ve always had an attraction for the time of day when light releases its hold on the earth and colors become muted and softer, shadows, longer, and trees are silhouetted against the darkening sky. Winter shows you the bones of the world. Unadorned, spare, lit by a sun hanging low. It invites introspection and time in the studio, with no distractions from the garden, bike rides, swimming…. Winter walks provide lots of inspiration. The grasses and weeds are revealed in stark contrast against the snow. Branches of trees, finally unadorned, can express their inherent grace or angular awkward beauty.”
Lisa Elley: “The holiday season inspires me in many ways, from the obvious visuals of winter wonderlands, snowy landscapes and birch forests, to the bigger picture of hope, giving, compassion and empathy. In our modern world of change and uncertainty it gives me immense pleasure to create a little beauty in our world, and share it with others in the form of vibrant and textured palette knife paintings, luring the eyes in with a composition focal point, and then encouraging them to rove around the painting, and enjoy the movement created with the palette knife. Around the holidays I love to paint winter landscapes with thick, luscious titanium white oil paint, and pops of color with lingering fall foliage. I picture my childhood winters racing under the silver birches, feeling the bark, the smell of the pine trees and of course the hot cocoa to top it all off!”
Julia Hacker:“I think, that most of us lead chaotic, fast paced and overwhelmed life. We are so busy with tasks, goals, and desires to achieve more. We often forget the reason behind all our efforts during this season. The holidays are the time when we are reminded of the essence of our lives – our families, our loved ones. It is time to slow down and reflect on the simple joy of being surrounded by friends and close ones. It is a time where we have only one idea in mind – a pure non-materialistic pleasure of sharing love. It is ability to remind myself about the beauty in the world and appreciate the gift of life. When I paint a holiday themed art, I imagine all the warmth and light, all the beautiful, large cities around the world, and all the small gatherings in every household. I feel blessed to be able to experience, feel, laugh, cry, and, of course, paint.”
Catherine McCargar: “Even here in the Bay Area of California where I live, there is a pronounced change in what we see in the landscapes around us. Although the color factor seems to diminish some in winter – and I am generally attracted to, and inspired by color – there are other exciting changes that occur. Winter brings rains, washing away the dusts and pollens that have dulled the colors of the foliage that remains, leaving polished rich dark leaves that play so nicely with the now more pastel skies. Beautiful misty atmospheres are revealed through the now often leafless tree branches, giving us deeper, yet softer views beyond what we saw in the other three seasons. I love the blues and the lavenders that seem to slip in and out of these wintry scenes behind the framework of branches and grasses, and these natural designs are often an inspiration for my own calligraphy.”
Suren Nersisyan: “Of all holidays, I feel the most inspired by Christmas. I am particularly inspired by the contrast of the cold winter and the colorful, warm lights of the city. This contrast makes me feel like a child fully enjoying the atmosphere. Over the holiday season there is this positive energy everywhere. Throughout my life, I have spent holidays in both rural areas and in big cities. In rural areas, I remember the feeling of being inside of a small, warm house with Christmas lights. I recall looking outside of the window to the blue snow. Calm and peaceful. These memories are what inspire me to paint snowy landscapes. In the cities, it is a little different. On holidays, I run out to feel the energy of people, car lights, and all this motion of life. When the snow isolates the noise and cleans the air I feel very inspired. It is a moment when your life becomes fairy tale. I am sure that all these feelings and impressions make us dream and believe in miracles!”