Monday, 26 September 2016

How Autumn Inspires Me

So it's the end of September, already.  I'm feeling Autumn in my bones, and inhaling the scent of it as I walk my daughter to school.  The morning air is damp and cool and there are small yellow and orange leaves in the gutter, like leftover confetti from a carnival.  Our light evenings are dwindling into darkness earlier, and I notice that my flip flops are still in the hallway and need to go back in the cupboard.  I need to dig out warmer things, like cosy boots and warm scarves.  

I let go of summer reluctantly, I didn't want the warmth to leave, the long heady days where the sun shone and it was hot and we went to the beach and life felt free and brilliant.  I didn't want to let go of that and I resisted Autumn, I felt a sort of grief as I tried to reconcile myself to the fact that the season was changing and that was that.  Never more so do I feel a change in the seasons as when Summer departs, yet having to let go of the warmer weather reminds me again to be mindful, to accept change and allow life to flow as it always will.

Acceptance instantly makes things feel easier.

The arrival of Autumn has led to some new colours on my palette.  I walk alot and notice flowers, seedheads and stems, I see structure and colour and although bright it is not 'fresh bright' like you see in May.  These colours are mature, they are deep and warm as they hold the heat of the sun and stories of long days.
I drank in these beautiful colours and used them in my latest painting 'September' which I just recently finished.  I wanted to capture those colours and the feelings of late summer, such a mixture of happy and wistful.  I wanted to paint the sadness of summer leaving us, so a flock of lonely birds migrating  in the sky above those vivid blooms is my nod to saying goodbye.  I painted a robin into the picture too, as I hear his song tinged with melancholy as I work in the studio.  He sits on the wall by the door and I see him through the window and I wonder if he too, feels the change as we do.  I think he does.

My paintings are becoming more emotive and I find myself thoroughly immersed in these floral pieces - have no idea how they are going to unfold.  I begin them with a wisp of an idea, a shape or a colour that I know I must capture and put on canvas.  The rest just happens.
I have an idea bubbling away for a winter piece soon, I can already feel and see the colours that I will use - a brand new palette again to capture the fleeting colour and sensations of our seasons.  I am finding it very medatitive creating these art works, and I really hope that they resonate with you in some way too.
Like many people, this time of year feels like a new beginning for me, almost like New Year where we feel compelled to set new intentions, create new habits, buy new materials and note books, start journalling and dreaming up new ideas.  I like that after the lazy days of summer I am able to find a focus again, I feel industrious and brimming with possibility.
I take care to plan my days now, it is important for me to have a routine and structure or else I am easily led astray and end up meandering, reading books and baking cakes.  I invested in this Happy Planner a few months back, and each Sunday evening I spend a pleasant time filling in the coming week with my plans.  I can't imagine how I lived without one for so long - the addition of washi tape and planner stickers from various sellers on Etsy have made my schedule (especially the chores) look far prettier and easier on the eye.  I'd heartily recommend getting one if you haven't already.  I feel happier knowing that I have some semblence of order in my world, just having things penciled in and knowing what's going on is mighty comforting.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year and I am happily looking forward to crisp walks through colourful leaves, a trip to the coast, amazing sunsets, bonfires, mulled cider and of course cosy nights curled up in front of the fire with family.

Let Autumn inspire you - tell me your favourite ways of enjoying this beautiful season.

J xxx
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