After the shift of the sun at First Light, and the beginning of warmer weather, I’ve been drawn outside to make nature art again.
I found myself making little nests from pohutukawa leaves, and placing white stones into them. Often it’s only after working intuitively with natural materials, and contemplating the final image, that I begin to understand what I was doing.
When I look at the white stones, I think of birds laying their eggs in the coming of spring, or seeds ready for the ground, or something about to hatch. Maybe you see something else in the image?
I like to think that it suggests things I haven’t yet become aware of. This is the one of the exciting things about creative work.
Is there a creativity season?
I’ve been contemplating this question, as I find myself stimulated to explore new things with the quickening of early spring.
In my last newsletter I wrote about how trees and creatures sleep in winter. Yet so many people, including myself, find that winter is also a creative season.
Maybe every season is, but with a slightly different flavour. And in this newsletter, as I remember my northern hemisphere readers who are saying goodbye to summer, I want to write about every season.
So here are my musings, and I welcome yours as well, which you can post here, on my blog.
Creativity in winter
There is something about the quiet of winter that fosters creativity, especially in the form of making things by hand. A friend is doing some beautiful knitting and lovingly making gifts with her needles and wool. Nadezda from northern Germany wrote on my last blog that she sews a new cross stitch piece every winter. My mother was an artist, and winter was her special season, when she could retreat into her studio without being bothered by distractions. Each winter she would produce enough paintings for a new exhibition.
For me, winter is a season of rich contemplation and gestation, when my imagination flourishes. And so winter is the season I set aside to work on my new book. It’s been slow work, involving a lot of revision and editing, restructuring and text enriching. In winter I have the patience that is needed for such tasks. I also enjoy having a satisfying project to pursue when the rain and wind keep me indoors.
Creativity in spring
And then spring comes along. The sap rises and a surge of creative energy rushes through the earth and my own body. It’s the early beginnings of such energy that picked me up and took me to the beach last week to play with leaves.
I find spring the perfect season for new initiatives, and breaking through obstacles. Any task that seems too hard can be conquered in the full-on energies of spring. This is when I’m planning to take the first steps towards publication of my new book.
It is a great season to start a new project, or to reinvigorate an old one.
Creativity in summer
Summer brings distractions, completions and holidays. It’s a good time to bring a creative project to fruition, or to a point where it can be parked—unless it’s something that requires fine weather, outdoor locations and lots of leisure: filming, photography, beach art, painting en pleine air, for example.
I’ve often enjoyed a leisurely summer art project, such as water colour painting, or making installations on the beach—nothing too serious, creativity with a fun element, and an emphasis on pleasure.
Creativity in autumn
The mellowness and serenity of autumn supports the rounding off of a creative endeavour. It’s been my favourite season for a book launch or the mounting of an exhibition. Anything that is potentially stressful will be well placed in the relaxed season of autumn.
Cycles of creativity
Any creative project will have its cycles. Here in the southern hemisphere we are entering the season of new beginnings.
What is surfacing in you as the first inklings of spring appear, and you smell the delicious fragrance of daphne, freesias and violets? Are you listening? Are you attending?
If something is calling you, this may be the season to take note. Because once a year the opportunity arrives to ride on the wings of spring.
Blessings on your dreams, visions and creative spirit,
Creativity keeps us fresh; it keeps us alive, keeps us moving forward.
This blog is an excerpt from my Seasons Newsletter. To receive the Seasons Newsletter, you may sign up on the home page of this website and receive a free audio meditation.