Feeling Winter

“The work of belonging to a place is never finished”

Scott Russell Sanders

It’s so easy to fall in love with summer. Summer is gloriously seductive… full of bright sunshine that sizzles on your skin, warm breezes that wrap themselves around you, dazzling blue skies, big puffy white clouds and bright green grasses. Everything in the landscape is it’s best, showiest version of itself.

Winter is everything that summer is not and quite happily so.

Winter is the familiar but a much more honest, quiet version of the familiar. It is the essence of the landscape…. without all the frills. Without all the extras. It doesn’t seek to impress. It just is.

“leaning into the wind” 36″ x 48″ oil on canvas

“The work of belonging to a place is never finished” …. I have a habit of collecting quotes from books I read, bits of truth or emotion that ring true to me and make me catch my breath as if the author of such words had read my mind. I saved this phrase, actually took a photograph of it with my phone, out of one of the dozen or so books that I am reading right now. It made me think about how longing to “know” a landscape, means needing to know how the landscape feels in all of its forms. In all of its moods. In all of its seasons.

There is no summer without winter.

The landscape here is not barren in winter as it is in some places. Instead it holds onto it’s shapes and forms but tempers them and composes a much quieter view. One that begs the eye to roam around slowly and discover the differences. The color is not bright and showy but richer and more varied. The clouds, a million versions of gray. The grass and trees, a kaleidoscope of greens and browns, purples and yellows. The water, a clearer, cleaner reflection of all the winter surrounding it.

“soothing melody” 30″ x 48″ oil on canvas

If I’m being honest, I’m a summer person. But I’m feeling the winter this year.

Maybe it’s because I have had to slow down because of having to take care of my mother more over the last few months. Maybe it’s just me getting older, realizing how nature’s changes in winter reflect our own changes in life. Maybe it’s just learning to savor the moments as they quickly flutter past.

I’ve had less time to physically paint in the last few months. But in my head and my heart I am still painting. Trying to understand, I’ve noticed and contemplated the landscape more. I’ve found myself really embracing the feel of winter. The color and the quiet.

“lyrics to life” 40″ x 30″ oil on canvas

It is easy to embrace what we love. What we feel most comfortable with. But learning to embrace the opposite of that is something that comes with age and time. And even then, it’s not always easy. I’ve focused on embracing winter with my thoughts and my observations and my paintings over the last couple of months. Trying to understand what I see and how that makes me feel. And when I get a chance to paint, trying to convey the mood of the landscape and how that mood feels being in the middle of it. Belonging to this place, belonging to the winter that consumes it right now.

Feeling the quiet. Feeling the softness. Feeling the rich pattern of color. Feeling winter. And knowing that summer will come when it is time.

“winged prayers” 24″ x 48″ oil on canvas SOLD

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I am a landscape painter living and painting on the Georgia coast. Painting and writing is a way to reach out and share my observations, my experiences and my inspirations with you. It is how I tell my story and the story of the wild, beautiful landscape where I live.

7 thoughts on “Feeling Winter

  1. Your blog post is very poetic. Love it.
    Savor all those precious moments with your sweet mom.
    Your writings are as remarkable as your gorgeous paintings.
    Prayers for you and your mom.


      1. Dottie, I always enjoy your beautiful landscapes and now your writing. I love my summers but we can truly appreciate the sun in the winter. I hope you are making some sweet memories with your mother. God bless you!


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