Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter Doldrums: Why Art is a Natural Cure

Missed Appointment by Lily Silver, 2005
Well, here in Wisconsin our get out of winter free card has expired. We had a lovely December from the first until December 28 (yesterday). My yard was free of snow, there was no snow here in Northeastern Wisconsin. It was even balmy for part of the month, with highs in the forties, and even close to the mid 50's. I went to the grocery store in Mid-December wearing only a sweatshirt, no coat. That was a treat. Of course it was destined to not last! We had a green Christmas. We had 27 and 1/2 snow free days in December, and then--BAM. A snowstorm dumped 12 inches of snow on us, and driving wind gusts that made near blizzard conditions.

My car, buried in snow after my honey finished snow-blowing today
That's ok, we're used to that this time of year. In Northern Wisconsin, we've seen snow storms as early as November, and the snow here doesn't melt until nearly April. We had a good run.

A cemetery statue in winter, Lily Silver, 2007

Winter is here, delayed, but here to stay. And long, cold winters bring depression in some folks. Trapped inside all day, Cabin Fever can set in by mid February. The darker days also contribute for those who suffer SAD or Sunlight Affected Disorder.

How do we fight winter's dark, depressing days and long dark nights?

Pastel Drawing using bright colors, Lily Silver 2015

With Art, of course. We create. Yes . . . Create Art, and you'll lose yourself in your project and not notice the gloom outside. You'll focus on your project, be it a drawing, a painting, or a mixed media collage. Photography is a good therapy, too. I love to go out after a snow storm and capture rare moments of glistening snow on trees and ice drips, before the sun melts away that stunning coating.

Girls are More Fun collage, a work in progress, Lily Silver, 2015
So, find a new project, one that will take a week or more to complete, and let your creative muse flow. You'll come home from a full day's work and have your art project to look forward to. And if you are home all day, retired or a stay at home mom or dad, having an hour or so of art to liven your day will lift your spirits in this dark time and give you something to look forward too each day or evening. Creating art will help those endorphins, give you a natural boost or high as your brain is flooded with Seratonin. You can even bask in a natural sun lamp while you work as an artist lamp that emulates the natural light of the sun will be theraputic physically while the act of creation will lift your spirit as your brain focuses on something besides the gloomy steel gray skies and snow dumps.  

When I step into my Art Studio, the world fades. I spend hours in there, often into the wee hours of the morning, because I lose track of time while I'm there.
I typically have several collages going at the same time. 2015 studio view