Hygge in the Winter Studio

llusk-studioHave you heard of hygge? Pronounced hoo-guh, “it derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning ‘to comfort’ or ‘to console,’ which is related to the English word hug.” You may know it as a way to experience more appreciation, coziness, or comfort in life, and more so during the winter season.

More on this concept can be found in a New Yorker magazine article at http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-year-of-hygge-the-danish-obsession-with-getting-cozy.

How do I produce hygge in the winter studio? I appreciate the details. In my small studio space, which is currently the corner of a spare bedroom, I have an old metal desk and a shelf made from an old board I found washed up on the beach. A ceramic pot and an old blue & white plate (I found this beside the road in a pile of discarded things) contain brushes, color pencils, markers, and such. The drawers are full of acrylic paint tubes, bottles of watercolor, drawing media, and paper. A tabletop easel holds my current work, and I often tack up my sketches and reference photos on the wall. A collection of interesting artifacts inspire a creative mood. A blue light lamp illuminates my efforts from the comfort of a squeaky old office chair. A rug and a pair of socks keep my feet warm.

I light a candle. I indulge in a rich cup of hot chocolate or hot tea. Then, I put on my reading glasses, choose my tools, and get lost in my thoughts as I sketch or paint. I switch back and forth between being concerned with technical accuracy and allowing creative license to flow. I ignore the rest of the world. Well, I try to ignore… until my dog needs to go out!

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