You may think of winter as the busy season or the celebratory season and it is, but, I find winter to also be the quiet season. Glorious fall makes way for the quiet of winter. The trees have lost most of their leaves or have been laid bare. A few trees still have the subtle golds and tans of late fall, especially on the beech trees and some russets on other trees. The grasses in their golden finery shimmer in the breeze and the rest of the surrounding landscape is pared down to just the essentials. Everyone needs some quiet solitude and rest, even the flowers.
The color of the sky is also quiet. A steel blue gray with touches of light lavender and occasionally patches of bright blue. The sky morphs into a mysterious silver color with warm and cool tones all at once and when the sun goes down the colors are deeper versions of blues and silvers with mauves mixed in. Winter does bring some surprises such as all the berries that burst out as a cheery reminder for the songbirds to stick around a little while longer. The punctuations of these rich jewel tones against a snowy backdrop is lovely to happen upon, an energizing surprise to come across. The Red Twig Dogwood bursts forth in the dead of winter probably to remind us nothing is one dimensional even in this season. Winter is not colorless, it just seems to whisper instead of shout. Winter also sings. Listen as the wind whips up high notes and whispers low ones as it makes it’s way through the bare branches. It’s as if the winter wind finally has the last word.
I love the varied brown tones that emerge after a plant’s greenery has died back. Brown is not dull, it’s rich – from a cafe au lait to pecan, or maple syrup to mahogany; these colors warm up a stark landscape. Go out for a walk and grab your camera, you would be surprised at what you can find in a winter landscape
Winter is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes I like to bundle up after a snow storm has settled and walk in the purity of the snow. It’s only me, the snow and the sky. It doesn’t get more pared down than this. I like things simple. It clarifies things for me.
When I was in art school, the dead of winter would be my most creative time. That was usually after the Christmas rush when there was really no expectations from anybody and nothing to do other than catch up on projects or dream about new ones. The subtleness of winter lends itself to deeper explorations and thoughts. I don’t get sad in the winter, I become very contented and open to new ideas. Here’s to winter and all it’s subtle beauties.