Despite the fact I'm not really keen on winter, I have resolved to still bundle up head out into the snow and try to appreciate winter for what it is and what it can offer. I've learned to love those bright blue winter skies, the sunlight reflecting off a fresh blanket of snow, and the profound quiet of an murky evening snowfall when I seem to be the only one stomping around in the midst of it.
Every winter, the bay near my house freezes over and my very favourite thing to do is hike right out into the middle, sit in the snow and just take in the view. It is deeply peaceful, beautiful and inspired my two favourite winter paintings, 'Winterlake' and 'Winterland'.
'Winterlake' was the view from the shore as I stood looking back at the wide open view and where I had walked for hours through the snow for hours. I inhaled the crisp air and took in that bright blue winter sky and brilliant white snow - perfectly clean but for my footsteps - knowing it was likely the last safe walk out onto the bay for the season. The sun was warm and I could hear the ice shifting and cracking under my feet.
'Winterland' reminds me of the most peaceful winter experience I've had in years. It was late afternoon and the sun was low when I set out on one of these long bay hikes. By the time I got to the middle, the world was lit only by moonlight and snow was falling. I sat down and watched the snow-filled clouds slowly swallow the moon and take over the sky. A silent, thick beautiful snowstorm began - I was basically on my own out there in a blizzard (let's not talk about safety - I wasn't thinking about safety - I was thinking 'this is amazing'). By the time I got back to the car I was frostbitten and tired and absolutely bursting with inspiration. As soon as my fingers defrosted, I started sketching and painted this beauty the next day. Can't wait for another one of those winter hikes this year!
I love the dynamic simplicity of these paintings and how they manage to feel both warm and winter. I enjoyed working with the restrained colour palettes, and particularly with 'Winterland', omitting bright colour almost entirely. I'm using these as my own seasonal cards this year (they're in my print shop as gorgeous cards for you too!). They are reminders that beauty can be found in nature every season, every day, of the year.