Winter Prompts

This blog post will help build upon the latest series of Winter themed prompts on the Spellbinder Instagram.

Winter can be a hard, and harsh, period of time. It can feel desolate and bare. Here in England, it is currently damp with winter rain. The nights come quickly, and are long. As a writer or an artist, it can be hard to find inspiration, or to feel motivated to create. But within the rainshowers and the cold  chilly nights, the natural world in winter, in particular, has plenty of potential to inspire.

This post will explore little pieces of natural beauty that might create the artistic spark that you need to light up the winter months.

Winter is not always the grey of rainy skys and the white of fallen snow. Plenty of colour and life remains – if this is something you think might inspire your own work, then consider the following points:

  1. If you are outside, keep a look out for birdlife. They often provide little flashes of colour and the more closely you look at them, the more you can see how intricate and beautiful they are. Could they form the beginning of a story, the subject of a poem, the focal point of a photograph or painting?
  2. Many trees lose their leaves during the winter months. However, trees such as pine, cedar, laurel and holly retain their leaves and greenery. How could their evergreen nature form the basis of a piece of art or writing? Could the spirit that they embody be something you could incorporate into your own work?
  3. In addition, many trees bear winter nuts and fruits. See here for examples from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. What symbolic meaning could be attached to this act? Could it be incorporated into your own work?
  4. On a slightly different note, the mountain hare turns its fur white in winter to help it blend in with the snowy surroundings. Adaptation – even if it is a temporary one such as this – is a key way in which elements of the natural world can survive in winter. Ask yourself whether this theme of adaptation is something you could use in your own creative work.

Meanwhile, the artwork of Jackie Morris incorporates all the different themes and ideas I have touched upon here, often incorporating colour against otherwise quite stark backgrounds. It can be viewed here. Use the principles and ideas touched upon here as the opening or central subject of a story, poem or piece of art. Investigate the different directions in which they can take you, and you may well be surprised at what you create.

Ned Vessey, Blog Coordinator

Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative from Pexels

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