When the Weather Outside is Frightful

It always surprises me how much my internal state is affected by my surroundings. I normally love wandering the streets of New York City, window shopping, taking photographs of interesting views, and maybe waiting in line for an exhibition or live performance. But now, with temperatures in the 20s, my penchant for lingering and meandering has faded.

I find myself walking with my head down at an unnaturally fast pace, seeking the nearest warm shelter. On these cold, dreary days, sitting inside and focusing on creative pursuits is not only more appealing but also becomes much easier.

If any of you are the same way, staying in with an issue of American Artist, Watercolor, or Workshop magazine is a great way to find inspiration without leaving the house. Just reading about Tom Perkinson’s landscapes in the February 2010 issue reminded me of sunshine.

What do you do to keep your creative energy flowing when your external surroundings aren’t so inspiring? Leave a comment, and let us know.

Naomi Ekperigin
Associate Editor

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Naomi E

About Naomi E

Naomi Ekperigin is an associate editor of American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor, and Workshop magazines. She loves art in all its forms, but after years of painting as a child, found that her skills flourished when she put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Her work at American Artist not only allows her to learn from modern-day masters but also inspires her in her own creative endeavors.

8 thoughts on “When the Weather Outside is Frightful

  1. I am blessed to live in a place where it is beautiful all year round. The winters are harsh at times, but the beauty is breath taking, so I just bundle up a bit more. My creativity is more adversely influenced by events and negativity of people. I recover by going for walks in this beautiful northern Michigan area.

  2. I love to take photos of all the cold snowy days. But when It is to cold to be out, I go to all my photos of warm places to inspire me to paint and feel warm! Some how it seems to take me back to that warmth as I paint. The same works for when it is to hot to be outside. That is when the snowy photo’s come out!

  3. Honestly, the past few days of normal cold weather in the NE, rather than FREEZING cold weather, has me back on track, artwise! I’m also surprised at how the weather affected me…Looking forward to the new issue!

  4. I must admit that I look forward to a cold or rainy weekend, so that I’m “forced” to stay inside and play with my paints, instead of going outside to garden. My favorite Jimmy Buffett CD is a must in these situations! When I do go out, however, I try to take a small sketchbook with me. If I end up in a cozy coffee shop or library, or even an airport, I’ll try to get in a few sketches (hopefully unobserved by my subjects).

  5. I live in New England and I paint florals in watercolor. I take a ton of picture ‘s throughout the summer and use these dark days of winter to paint. It is snowing as I write.

  6. I was just down at the ocean this morning between big storms, the waves were 15 feet high and spraying backwards fiercely. I took many photos and some High Depth Video. I just thought it would be nice to start a small winter wave series. I began a 6X8 last week before the rain arrived. There is something about those soft grays, greens, mauves, blue-violets and browns that grab me. Winter colors are gentle. It`s raining now and I am about to look at my images, they refresh me and inspire me.

  7. I love New York City in the winter time. The clean fresh air is what I really like.
    Of course, being an artist the indoors is a good place to be, to read and get
    inspired. Doing a children’s book and finishing a comic book for client so
    I will be at my drawing table, alot. But, ahhhh… just smell that fresh air!

  8. Hi Naomi, I am one of those hardy northerners that thrives in the snow. I live in the snow belt east of Lake Erie so it was of necessity to get used to the winter. We have 4 equal seasons. Just when one starts to get tired of the current season and desire a change along comes the next season.

    So I actually like the cold, provided one prepares for it. The right socks, gloves, layers hat etc. Of course knowing you can come in to a roaring woodfire in the stove helps too.

    It lowers my blood pressure to wander the trails of a camp that my Grandfather built with friends in the 1920’s. It’s a wonderful place on a steep hillside with natural springs, all sorts of wildlife and giant granite rock formations. I have painted the area many times. Here is a little slide show of my last snow shoe outing. It was 15 degree out but sunny. Took my dog with me.

    http://www.mikelwintermantel.com/snowshoe.html

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