Monday, February 18, 2013

Studio and Storms

The great thing about a storm that most of the province is experiencing is that I can hunker down and not feel guilty. Everyone else is hunkering down also, doing their own version of storm day doings. I pulled out my favourite pencil crayons and went to Carla Sonheim's blog.

Carla is an illustrator/book author and an online teacher. She has several free self-directed tutorials and I like her Cracked Sidewalk of the Month event.

Carla's instructions suggest printing the pdf out on watercolour paper, plus a few other options. I went ludite and traced the image out from the computer screen. Then I looked at it and tried to find animals in the shapes. I turned it upside down and left and right and came up with several possibilities.

Then, I began to get the hang of things and tried a few more.

I added the tail. A cat needs a tail.

That night, it began to rain and the back yard was magical. I tried shooting it with a flash and then a low setting, but the most fun photo was the one that didn't work technically.

That isn't a moon, it's a sparkle of wet snow. (I am just listening to some Mozart and wrote a sparkle of music, maybe it's true.) I love winter, especially if I'm indoors, but I also love being out in a snowing gale for a short walk. There is something so exciting about winter that most people over look. It's the tobogan-ness of it all. Every day is different, sometimes beautiful, sometimes dirty. So what if it isn't sunny, there is a challenge everyday; is it cold, wet, windy, icy, sub-zero, time for a fire, time for a hot chocolate, time for a hot bath, time for a book, time to shovel, time to slide down a hill, time to go skating, skiing, or watch a movie. The best thing to do to enjoy winter's mis-understood gifts is to have a bird feeder near a window without curtains. Let people look in, screw 'em. You look out. And watch those chickadees be very amusing, watch the different precipitations and be grateful you have shelter, watch the highschool students go by and laugh at the shorts and yes, flip flops.

Some of us get the winter blues. With my concussion, I wasn't allowed to use the SAD light, it was too strong. I slept tons and feel great mood-wise. Maybe those of us with winter depression should give ourselves permission for an afternoon nap in front of a fire (or a video of a fire) and relax more. Go outside and get chilly, it's good for the endorphins. Very often it all comes back to attitude and attitude, unlike many forms of depression, is linked to decisions. Decide to be adventurous. Decide to accept the challenge. Buy bright mitts, buy bright nailpolish and do your toes so when you look down in despair, 10 happy toes are looking back at you. Decide to have a hot chocolate get together with someone who likes making cookies. If you do have chemical depression, get an anti-depressant (I love mine) and vitamin D and literally lift your chin up when you walk.

If none of the above works for you, join the sidewalk challenge and get your crayons out. Colour something, anything.

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