Gower beaches

Summer daydreams in the dark winter.

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Last Swim of the Day (Port Eynon)

I always struggle in the winter. It creeps up on me. I start to feel down although nothing particularly bad has happened. I feel myself start sliding. Then the thing takes on an almost physical shape. I can feel the edges of the thing starting to weigh heavily on me. Then, in the back of my mind, a thought dimly appears; “You Need Light”.

I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression, although I can get it during really wet summers when the days are overcast, day after day. This year has been particularly tough. I am often thinking thoughts like “Why is it so dark?”, “Oh no, is it night already?” and “How long until the sun comes up?” It seems to get worse with each passing year. Maybe it just because this winter has been particularly cold?

Fortunately, I have a couple of SAD lamps and one of those alarm clocks that will mimic a sunrise. I just have to remember to switch them on and sit next to them. I don’t always do so. So, here I am now with a lamp on and I can feel it cheering me up getting the hypothalamus in my brain to work properly. Earlier, when there was some gloomy daylight I painted a couple of summer beach scenes. I felt very happy painting the people on the beach in the blinding summer sun. I thought about the day back in the summer we visited Port Eynon, on the South Gower Coast.  The sea was glassy. It was so warm that paddling was wonderful. We had chips for tea. It was lovely. It was a day when you didn’t feel the need to “do” anything. You were quite happy just sitting in the shade watching the people on the beach.

I have long suspected that my tendency towards SAD is one of the reasons why I paint so many sunny and bright scenes. I feel much better for thinking about this wonderful summer’s day and painting these two beach scenes.

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Family Outing to the Beach (Port Eynon)  Oil on Linen Canvas 46x38cm unframed

 

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9 replies »

  1. I hate winter, it’s cold, grey, wet… and EXPENSIVE! Summer is my favourite season, but I wish we still had summers like we used to get before climate change buggered up our weather. Like you, I often find myself asking why it’s so DARK.
    I love your bright, colourful beach scenes, so cheering to look at!

    • I think this is a particularyly tough winter (as you say Global Warming has buggered up the weather and we get lots of extreme weather, that goes on and on). Thank you for the comment on the beach scenes!

  2. I don’t have seasonal affective disorder, but I do mind the winter. Mostly I don’t like being cold. I love summer like a cicada — even the hot muggy days that other people complain about. Like you I’m drawn to summer scenes in winter. It’s vicarious escape! And I think it helps, I really do! Your pictures have got me thinking about the beach!! And yea, for that! I like your intense colors and keen lines.

  3. I know what you mean about long dark winters. I am in Florida now, so none of that here. What excellent beach scenes – just amazing. If I had money, I would put your pictures in every room of my house. (Don’t forget to take Vitamin D, it might help.)

    • I envy you the sunshine in Florida! After tough winters like these people just rush out to the beach when (if) they warm sunny days return. The great thing about Swansea is that you can walk to the beach if you don’t have a car and there’s a good bus service to the Gower beaches. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I take all sorts of vitamins throughout winter (and have had the flu-jab too).

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