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Winter Vacay!

While most of you are enjoying the bright burst of summer, down here in Australia, we are probably right in the bleakest of winters.

I was born in the tropics. Singapore. Right on the equator where there is no distinct seasons and everyday is hot and humid. Growing up in a city in the tropics hasn’t been easy. And maybe that’s one of the biggest reasons I chose to move.

Seasons are everything to me now. And with seasons bring change. And changes in nature and flowers and colours. Changes in the length of night and day, in temperature, in moods, and what we can do. But the winters still can be tough.

We took this winter break to drive down to Adelaide to see some friends and it was a really really nice, wonderful change of scenery. Lots of heart to heart chats with old friends by the fire place and lots of lovely wine and conversation.

I guess what I am getting at is… I am slowly beginning to accept winter. Really. Back in May when it started to get cold, I was vehemently resisting the cold, the darker days and the rain with all my heart. I felt really angry that I was putting on a jacket so soon after we were still able to go swimming in the river. I was pretty angry. And said, enough is enough. We are moving North! (Yes, to us in Australia, moving north equals warmer climates).

In June, I was still MAD! Angry and annoyed and all ready to cut ties with this wet, cold and dark place. Enough was enough. Have I said that already?

But now we are in July. And what I realised I needed, was just some time away. To get out of rut. To change it up a bit. And I know, it’s not a luxury everyone can have. Just taking a little holiday. Road trip etc. But gosh we need that!

When living in Singapore, going on little trips every other month, or every other weekend was a thing you HAVE to do to feel sane! To escape that boiling heat of monotony.

We need novelty. That’s what makes us humans. That’s why we have spread across the globe as we have done. It’s innate.

What has this got to do with Art? Why are you reading this blog post all this way, and nothing about art has come up yet?

It’s because through art, we are creating something new and novel every time. We enjoy, we seek, we feel the urge to always constantly create and recreate fresh paintings. Explore new ideas, new compositions, new supplies, new colours! Sure, we have our favourites. But don’t you think that everything you go to paint, you never ever ever find yourself wanting to paint something you painted before exactly? There’s always something new and novel and fresh to be found. Breakthroughs to be had. It’s always an adventure.

But in order for us to be creative and fresh and new and excited. We need to stop and take breaks. And that was what the one week away has done for me. I really am quite happy that I didn’t bother picking up my paints for one week, because I was in company of some dearest friends and we hung out all day and chatted all evening. We were eating wonderful comfort foods from our childhood. We were laughing at old stupid jokes that only we would get. I actually hardly even once really thought about painting. I felt accepted, held, assured and loved. It was so so so wonderful.

And now I am semi back in the studio. Kids are still having one more week of school hols and I am happy to make their meals and go out for movies and walks with them. And only next week will I be back-back.

In any case. I am feeling so blessed for having had this little road trip with my family to meet some friends. Gratitude to the max. I wish you all, the most wonderful time with your friends and family too this summer as I know plenty of you are going off for your summer vacay!

Leaving you with a photo that sums up the trip. Hotpot. With old friends and family. In the wintertime.

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Well………you speak my thoughts and feelings. How is that possible? Almost sentence for sentence. I, too, grew up in the tropics, on an island, and as an adult with children settled in a cold area in the USA, the northeast. To this day I experience rough patches in the winter. I’ve never fully become accustomed to it even after half a century, but I do love the change in seasons. Painting is my friend and companion, crutch and healer. I just wish winters weren’t so long. Family is good but friends are great. Thank you for the gift of sharing such inner feelings with me, for I feel you speak to me alone. I wish we could sit over…

Crystal Tan
Crystal Tan
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

Hey Bobbie! Thanks for reading my post!!! How weird and random was this post though. I am so glad it resonated because I was thinking ... what am I talking about actually? Winter? Or taking a break? Or the warmth of friends and food? Or about art? I wasn't super clear. But somehow you understood every word. X Enjoy the warm summer now whilst u can!

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