Winter in Chicago is in a word, brutal. Freezing temps, snowy mess, and frigid winds off Lake Michigan make outdoor life a kind of hell. Most people do lots of complaining about the winter weather, me included. Don't judge--we have to complain or we might go stir crazy.
In my family we gauge the seasons by jigsaw puzzles. I could come home from school on any given winter day and find our dining room table covered in a work in progress. Around the unfinished puzzle border there would be stacks of shallow boxes full of tiny pieces grouped by color and visual texture. It's just something we do to pass the time when it's too cold to enjoy the outdoors.
As I grew up I discovered my own way of fighting off cabin fever. I paint. I'm self-taught but I do love it. Colorful smears of acrylic paint cover almost all of my winter pajamas and sweatshirts. I recently rearranged my office/creative space to maximize room for the upcoming painting season. Below is a creation of mine from last winter that now hangs in my living room. I call it "Reach Beyond Grasp."
Seeing as I'm in the process of finishing a NaNo novel, I don't know how much painting I will be doing this year. It will take work to find the proper balance between writing and painting. November is entirely scheduled to my novel for NaNoWriMo. After that, I'll allow myself plenty of time to indulge in my favorite cure for the winter blues--a brush, a palate and a canvas.