Winter is my second favourite season.* It is a season often overlooked, despised sometimes, seen as a type of purgatory before the bright warmth of summer returns.

There is much to admire about winter. The colour of the landscape at this time of year is unlike any other. The black of damp wood; the purple of gone-over bracken; the calm of snow. Contrast this with the lush greens and blooms of spring; the baked yellow of thickening summer; and the reds and browns of autumn. Each season has its own palette, and winter brings a dark and sombre beauty.

When the days are short, there is an urgency to get outside on any day when the weather is adequate enough to permit it. Even with grey damp days, there’s a certain light that gives a constant, diffuse glow. This is comparable with artists’ studios, which often (ideally) have a single window facing north. The lack of direct sunlight gives an even, constant light to work by.

I think it’s important to observe the change of the seasons—for contrast, if nothing else. But also for a sense of perspective, and to accept that change is essential and necessary. There is time for reflection in the quiet light of winter, and at new year, a time to observe and reflect in the diffuse reflected light.

*After autumn, the season of absolute beauty.