Grey days ahead

Winter has arrived, with a substantial amount of snow, although not the pile they got in New York! And days will be greyer now which, as far as my Muse is concerned, is all to the good.

See, I’ve always loved grey days, particularly winter ones, when it’s cold and snowy out there and it’s warm in here and full of art. I can’t remember when, precisely, this started, but I suspect my first studio in Ithaca, New York, in a basement apartment.

At the time I was a printmaker, and I recall creative and productive winter days in my little yellow-painted studio, turning out the engraved alphabet cards I made by the dozen and sold at craft shows. I’ve never lost that cozy feeling about heavy, cloudy skies and winter light.

I’ve spent a lot of my summer not being as productive as I would have liked, and I’m looking forward to making good progress on the last book of the Swan Harp trilogy in the weeks between now and springtime. It doesn’t hurt that some financial stuff has eased a bit, and that I won’t be as worried about keeping my house warm this winter as I was last year. Note I said, “as worried”. I’d like to say “not worried”, but I know me, and I know that worry, especially financial worry, is a hard habit to break.

I’ve sometimes wondered why I chose this artist’s life, rife as it is with insecurity and financial instability. I like having a regular paycheque; that’s something good to be said for the night job. I do well when money comes in smallish, regular increments, not so well when it’s in big lumps with lots of time between said lumps. Guess how money has usually arrived in my life?

But then I write a poem, or design a new pop-up, or finish another piece for my poetry jacket. Did I tell you about that? I’m embroidering some of my own poetry and patching it all over a denim shirt. It’s a work in progress, and has the added benefit of keeping me (relatively) sane and (mostly) patient on the phone at work.

Anyway, I finish some artistic smidgen, or my Muse pokes me at 3 a.m. and says, “What about that song about the nitrite-nitrate cycle, then?”, and I remember. Given a choice between regular instalments of money and regular instalments of art, I’ll take art. Art and grey winter days. Pass the hot chocolate.

I’d like to know what kind of weather inspires you!

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