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Autumn glory

October pops and fizzes,

does not surrender quietly to the encroaching darkness.

Lime green flashes through the autumnal kaleidoscope

of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Roses continue to bloom in sheltered corners.

It is raining leaves:

some sailing to the ground, unforced and unhurried,

others ripped from the tree in fistfuls in a sudden gust of wind.

The maple leaf’s bold yellow and red coat of arms is tinged with dark purple at the edges –

the fleeting beauty of nature’s ever-changing art.

Beech nuts wobble on a star-shaped yellow velvet cushion -

future growth depends on letting go.

The scent of roses mingles with the musty smell of rotting leaves.

Geese are honking overhead.

The starling choirs agrees:

Winter is coming.

First there is the harvest to enjoy:

apples, squashes, pumpkins

and the last of this year’s blackberries...

In recent weeks I have been struggling to put paint on canvas, and the carefully curated sketching materials I took on holiday were never unpacked. Writing and photography flowed more naturally, and I was beginning to wonder whether painting needed to be put on the backburner for a while.

However, the monthly art challenge in Louise Fletcher's Art Tribe community helped me to overcome my painting block. We were asked to develop a personal colour palette for a season of our choice by first doing a mind dump of what we associated with the season before colour mixing.

After writing about my associations with October and looking at my photos of autumn trees and leaves, it felt natural to express my experience through paint and collage.

Here are the earlier stages of the painting:

I have experimented with using leaves for printmaking and with preserving leaves. I am also exploring whether and how to incorporate my words into the painting. I am looking forward to finding out what will be emerging next...

I suspect that the final painting will have several more layers, just as autumn is multi-layered.


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