These cozy winter GIFs will get you in the holiday mood

Creature comforts and joy! Curl up with some animation by Kelowna's Ashleigh Green, this week's Exhibitionist in Residence.

Creature comforts and joy! Curl up with some animation by Kelowna's Ashleigh Green

This week's Exhibitionist in Residence is Ashleigh Green. (Instagram/@ashgreen)

The holidays are here, and on the next episode of CBC Arts: Exhibitionists, our featured artist is bringing you creature comforts and joy.

Ashleigh Green, 25, is a freelance illustrator and animator from Kelowna, B.C.

"I do find the pace and the quietness here is reflected in my work," Green tells CBC Arts, and the scenery of her Okanagan home is a recurring theme: happy little mountains, quiet valleys, hidden beaches — and the occasional glass of wine.

The animation we're featuring this week comes out of a personal project from a couple winters ago. For a month, Green made a GIF a day, based on quick sketches and stream-of-consciousness doodles.

"I guess I realized that I just had to start making things instead of waiting for ideas," she says, and the theme that emerged was simple but meaningful.

Green's work is all about little things and quiet moments — the pleasure of a warm mug of cocoa or tea, the joy of discovering a new sprout in a houseplant pot.

There's a cozy, solitary vibe to her black-and-white line drawings, and her style is clean and spare, as comfortingly simple as her favourite subjects.

Green quick-sketches daily observations in a tiny notebook — "like, maybe the size of my hand" — which is how she developed her minimal approach.

"I like the idea of stripping away all the unnecessary details," she says, and Green began challenging herself to go all Thoreau on her drawing technique (i.e. "simplify, simplify") while doing her BFA at UBC Okanagan.

"When I was in university, I felt like a lot of my professors were encouraging us to go really big and explore huge ideas and make something super meaningful but, I dunno. I didn't feel like I had anything big to say, so I felt I couldn't really do that."

Says Green: "I started focusing on the smaller things and the details. Quiet moments."

"I think it kind of reflects the kind of person that I am. More quiet. Pretty introverted. And yeah, I felt like my work should express the kind of person that I am."

Curl up with a few of her GIFs.


Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT).


Leah Collins

Senior Writer

Since 2015, Leah Collins has been senior writer at CBC Arts, covering Canadian visual art and digital culture in addition to producing CBC Arts’ weekly newsletter (Hi, Art!), which was nominated for a Digital Publishing Award in 2021. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University's journalism school (formerly Ryerson), Leah covered music and celebrity for Postmedia before arriving at CBC.