I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been having a time the past few weeks… or the entire past year… With the 1 year anniversary of a lot of particularly difficult things coming up, and the typical down mood of winter combined with pandemic cabin fever, I’ve been in a major funk. But professionally, things have been great, and I need to keep painting. I’ve found some relief lately in an old standby I’ve used in the past to feel refreshed during tough deadlines: long videos I can either play on a second monitor while I work digitally, or on my TV while I work traditionally.

There are a couple styles of scenery videos I like. I call them the Interdimensional Window and the Vicarious Voyager.

The Interdimensional Window – Videos where the camera doesn’t move or moves very slowly. You can feel like you live in a forest, or you have a fire pit, or just that you can see time passing, slowly. Fireplace and aquarium videos are nice, but there are some beautiful and more exotic options like this view of the Northern Lights:


A friend in my hometown, Nathan Payne, posts videos that fit this category really well, and that also help alleviate the homesickness I get for the forests and lakes of the North –

(If you, like me, are stuck far away from your hometown or family, a friend back home might be able to set up a camera and capture some ambiance for you)

The Vicarious Voyager – Long trips with a static-camera view of moving scenery. I adore train videos for this! Views out the side widow let you pretend you’re working on a train.

There are gorgeous views from the train’s cabin too. A favorite is this particular stretch of train track between Switzerland and Italy, which I’ve been lucky enough to ride in real life, the Bernina Pass.

Or for a real trip, try a view from orbit:

Hiking and walk videos are a little too mesmerizing to have on while working… I end up just watching. They are incredibly relaxing and help a lot with the feelings of being stuck indoors in an urban place without much access to nature or travel.

City walks are fun for a taste of international travel:

With all of these options, you can kind of trick yourself into feeling like you’ve gone further than the grocery store. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of them as I have!