Tuesday, 4 November 2014

There's something in the air...a seascape

Scottish+Seascape+Vibrant acrylic+abstract+impressionism+Nicola McLean
'There's something in the air' - acrylic on canvas 5x5 inch

So, summer ended a while ago up here and autumn is rapidly giving way to winter. I’m torn over whether I love or loathe this time of year.

On the one hand, the things I love are: 
  • A roaring fire (this year we’ll have a wood burning stove so no more smoke blowing back down the chimney when the wind changes direction!)
  • Jumpers and fleecy pyjamas - I love cosy clothes. (I also love the idea of floaty maxi dresses and flip flops but even in summer the chance of getting to wear them up here is as remote as the village we live in!)
  • It's practically a requirement to drink mulled wine and spiced cider.
  • The sunsets and sunrises seem even more spectacular than they are in the summer and the sun sets so early and hangs so low in the sky that we have a wonderful view of it setting from the kitchen and sun room windows.
  • The idea of crisp autumn mornings with the leaves still clinging to the trees or carpeting the paths in a blaze of earthy golds and reds. 
  • Blowing the dust off the Christmas CDs (metaphorically speaking, that is, as they're all on the iPod) on 1 December, listening to all the cheesy classics while decorating the Christmas tree and drinking mulled wine (did I mention that I love mulled wine?!)
  • Watching Polar Express on Christmas Eve which we’ve done every year since 2005, while drinking mulled wine (hmm, there’s a bit of a theme here)
  • The clear nights with a gazillion stars and the chance to see the northern lights from our village beach.

'There's something in the air' - acrylic on canvas 5x5 inch

On the other hand I don’t care so much for:
  • The reality of wet, muddy autumn days with barely a red or gold leaf to be seen. Instead there are brown mulchy leaves cleverly disguising the dog poop that other folk don’t bother to pick up!
  • The need for waterproof trousers and jackets 9 out of 10 times that we walk the dogs. Although, in fairness, that could happen just as easily in the summer up here as the winter and if it’s a really rainy morning, S will put the westies back into bed with me (they think they’re made of spun sugar and will melt if they get wet) and he walks Skye (the springer spaniel who doesn’t even notice the rain because she’s too busy lying in puddles anyway!)
  • Walking the dogs in the dark wearing high visibility vests and head torches. Granted this only happens on the two mornings a week that I work in town when we have to get up at 6am to walk them before work, but now that it's dark by 4.30pm we've no choice but to walk them in the dark in the evenings now too (unless S takes Skye on her own and the westies stay home with me - see point above!).
  • The fact that I really feel the cold so on the days when I’m at home painting, not wanting to have the central heating blasting all day long so instead channelling the Michelin Man/Pilsbury Doughboy with all the many layers of clothes I wear and the hot water bottles down my jumper.
  • The fact that there is so little day light that I get less painting time (although my daylight lamp is the best thing ever for extending painting time on dark Scottish days) 

Well, it seems that there are more things I love than not and those invigorating walks on the beach every day (in daylight hours) do mean I get some fabulous Instagram photos of dramatic skies and the moody Atlantic ocean which serve as inspiration for paintings! Here's the original grainy photo which inspired the painting in this post- I just coloured it happy!

What do you love and loathe about the winter months?

I'll be linking to Paint Party Friday (I'm just a bit early in posting is all!) Thanks to Kristin and Eva who host every week so we can all hang out together!


  1. lol, I laughed when you said you put the hot water bottle down your jumper, I think you live in a wonderful spot and to me the remoteness makes it even more lovely, and the views you have ,,,, oh my,,,beautiful seascape, breath taking!

  2. OH i am not a winter person.. I don't like the dark days and so will spend from now till April under a sunlamp watching mama mia... :) I do love the polar express too though... and the snowman... and a bit of mulled wine is ok too, so perhaps winter is not all bad. I do like your lovely vibrant piece, the sky is beautiful.

  3. Such a gorgeous painting Nic- love those intense strokes and colors! I so wish I did have a fireplace to cozy up to. I do not like winter at all! However, if I'd put things into perspective as you have (I do agree with your points) I MIGHT find it isn't so horrible after all:)

  4. I love that moody seascape. There is something so powerfully beautiful about the sea this time of year. I too have been helping a friend walk her dogs and we've been out in soe inclement weather and darkness. I think dog people are the only ones out I when it's like that, but aren't we lucky!?

  5. I love your painting! Such beautiful colour + texture! What I loved most about the Scottish winters were the open fires, wearing beautiful scarves + boots! Christmas dinner being cooked + warming the whole house (not over heating it like it does here in Oz!) I am feeling nostalgic now....!

  6. If I had written the same post I think a lot of it would have been word for word the same as yours! It seems we love and hate the same things exactly! I also love log-fires and cozy clothes. Last year my daughter bought me a soft, fleecy Wunzie, which I LIVE in in the winter! I also love mulled wine and classic Xmas songs. This morning we had our first frost and our roof was completely white! The month I least like is January, because by then it is just blah. No colour, just mud. I am grateful that we will be away for half of it! Your painting is gorgeous of course! xx

  7. Beautiful painting! Autumn is my fave time of year, although I do enjoy all the seasons. Autumn just seems to be so special because of the wonderful colour changes. Valerie

  8. Beautiful life and beautiful art. I love your winter statement.

  9. I'm so impressed with your dark seascapes with the wonderfully painted louring skies.
    I like everything about winter, coal fires, the cold weather when we can wear our woolly jumpers, Christmas and the fact that there is more time for indoor ploys. But then I love the other seasons too.
    I enjoyed reading your lists, what an interesting blogpost.

  10. There isn't really a pro and con list for me - I'm always glad when summer's finally over. Autumn and especially winter are my favourites. I love when the days get shorter, putting on layers of wool, breathing fresh air at last. I'm always getting a bit disappointed when the morning fog eventually lifts and the sun breaks through in autumn. I'm probably the only one here who loves grey November days. And I really, really, hope that we'll get a proper winter this year, with loads of snow and cold temperatures. My ideal temperature range is between -15 and 15 degrees C. Yes, I definitely live in the wrong place/country...

    Love the beautiful colours in your painting, I can just feel the cold air and the freshness of the mist. Perfect weather for a walk on the beach.

  11. Beautiful painting, Nic. I dread getting snowed in and now being able to get to the store. Our well operates on electricity so if the power goes off, we have no water or heat. I'd love to have a wood burning stove, but our fireplace was fitted for gas logs a few years ago. I don't know if it is possible to go back the other way or not.

  12. I like the things you love about this time of year, I'll stop there! Nice art today!

  13. Such powerful colors in your work. I would love some cool weather!!

  14. Sounds more like you live here in British Columbia...I though wow you captured our stormy week we've had in your painting! That was before I read your post! I love the coziness of winter, being dry inside while the wet washes the house! But he aches and pains that come with the cold is not fun! Enjoy, all too soon it will be spring again!! Great descriptions by the way!

    Hugs Giggles

  15. Love polar bear express! Nice painting.


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