8 Secrets to Enjoy Finnish Winter

Nov 19, 2018Creative process, Series

1. Look for the yellow and violet

Colors’ difference is what stroke me the most when I moved to Finland from Italy. Life here is violet and yellow when in Southern Europe or even in the US, life is blue and orange. I talked a lot about that with people in Helsinki. They/you got back to me with some profound experiences like the one Kati had.

[…] I had another ‘violet’ breakthrough today – when I was looking at a group of birch trees today, the clustered, bare branches at the top of the trees really popped out at me as the color violet. Though the bases of those trees are so white, there’s something reddish about their high-up branches, and in the dim light I could also see the purple/violet in them.

2. You are much taller in winter in the North!

Really? Well, let’s think about it for a second. Next time you walk under the winter sun, drop your head down and look at your shadow…You will see the longest shadow ever…no need for high heels 😉

3. No need to wake up early for the most beautiful sunrise

Like if sleeping late was a flaw ^o^ What if it was a question of biological rhythm? Let’s imagine that you are an evening person. It usually means you enjoy waking up late. Welcome to Finland! The sun also enjoys waking up late. You get to see the most amazing sunrise at eight o’clock in the morning. Pretty cool no?

4. Walking in honey


It was December 22, 2017. I was outside at 10 am but it felt like 9 pm. One of this gorgeous long summer evening in France.

The light tone is very warm in winter because the sun stays low and hits the earth horizontally. It may be hard to notice but you can see it when you walk on the shore or in the forest during a sunny day.

Next time the sun comes out, try to feel that honey-like-light enveloping you.  It is very hard to capture on camera but I think this one will do it.

5. Hunt for colorful leaves like Marika does

Here is what Marika Andersson wrote me: Marie, on Saturday I found these interesting leaves in the forest. It seems like the fairies painted them. I took a couple of photos when I found out which shades of colours they used and posted them on FB. People thought I really painted them myself 🙂 It was a fun little project…

6. Enjoy Sininen Hetki or the Blue hour (from the French L’heure bleue)

I am sure you are familiar with the blue hour. That phenomenon during the evening twilight when indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade.

Ritva Suonperä kindly reminded me after the Fairy Trail popup show how dramatic the blue hour gets in Finland, especially in winter when the snow makes the contrast with the blue sky even more striking! Kiitos Ritva

7. And what about the cloudy days?

Well if you see everything I have listed above, you may be happy to have a bit of time to breathe without seeing ANY colors. Your brain needs a break. So the morning may start with some greys and clouds but wait! The last hour of this day may be just another dramatic sunset. So beautiful and vibrant. Impossible to paint LOL

Walk by the sea and you will see ;°

During the greyest day of November, walk by the shore (around café Ursula for example ;)). Follow your feet, let your mind wander.

You will eventually enter a zone where you don’t name things anymore but you feel the space. This is when you can start seeing the green water in comparison to a slightly pink sky. Maybe the trees will appear to you so yellow… It is so subtle that your eyes don’t see it. Or I should say the analytical eye doesn’t see it but another area of the brain recognizes it. It is a matter of accepting the idea that things aren’t that grey in fact…

Please share how you see and enjoy (or not) the winter time. If you want to see how I get inspired by winter and which effect it had on me click here

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