Updated: Nov 2, 2022
6 reasons why Autumn inspires me and why it's my favourite season...
“As long as Autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colours enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” - Vincent Van Gough
Autumn is a season of huge change and transformation, both outside our windows and inside our souls. I love to observe the leaves changing colours and falling slowly from the trees. The process of the deciduous trees shedding their leaves as part of their cycle of renewal. The wildlife such as squirrels, mice and hedgehogs busying themselves, gathering their supplies before hunkering down for winter. The daylight hours change and so we experience a shift and a change in our daily routine and habits, a time of slowing down, of following new rituals. A time of self renewal and self care. A wonderful process of self love and a letting go of things that no longer serve us. A preparation takes place for the quieter, shorter days ahead. A period where there is focus on what I love. The love of autumn, the love of animals, the love of Mother Earth and the love of being in the home. A time to be inspired by the golden hues of autumn, the changeable weather, nature's treasures that can be found whilst out walking. Piles of colourful leaves on pathways. Coming home with pockets full of acorns, conkers, hazelnuts and feathers. Jumpers, boots, hats, warm blankets on the sofa, reading books, puzzles, lighting candles, hot stew, hot chocolate and lighting the fire are all rituals that I love and look forward to every year.
We are all creatives, a human trait and autumn is the best season for me to get creative. Coming in from the garden after preparing it for the winter. The last job is to plant the spring bulbs. Some of the most famous artists have produced their masterpieces thanks to thIs season. Inspired by the light, the changes of the season and the autumnal golden hues. These are a handful of artists that have created the most beautiful autumnal pieces, humbling and awe inspiring indeed. I hope you get time to look up these pieces.
Leaf Fall by Vincent Van Gogh (1885)
Autumn on the Seine at Argenheuil by Claude Monet (1873)
Autumn by Frederick Edwin Church (1875)
Autumn in Bavaria by Wassily Kandinsky (1908)
Let me share my 6 reasons why Autumn is my most favourite season of them all:
A - Abundance
From September leading up to the first frosts there is an abundance of berries, seeds and fruits to pick, whether it is from your own garden or from the hedgerows and surrounding landscape. You'll find blackberries, sloes, crab apples, apples, pears, rose hips and sweet chestnuts amongst the few. The season to make slow gin and hedgerow booze, preserves, jams and chutneys. A good time to sample the local cider to. As a keen gardener, there's nothing more satisfying than harvesting my own vegetables and have enjoyed garlic, carrots, onions, parsnips, salad and tomatoes this year. I have just planted some rainbow chard, and sown carrot, parsnip and spring onion seeds. Sadly, the pigeon decided to eat most of my spinach seeds so the crop won't be great, but I love my garden visitors and there's plenty to go around. We planted several fruit trees a few years ago and have yet to see any fruits, but I remain forever hopeful that maybe next year we'll be picking apple, pears and plums. I love to refer to The Forager’s Calendar by John Wright
U - Unwind
Autumn signals that it's time to slow down, relax, loosen up and unwind. I know autumn has arrived when I put on my socks and trainers again, it feels strange at first after walking bare foot on the grass and sandy beaches. I like to use this time to plan new projects using my stock of photographs I have taken throughout the year. I go back into my studio with a cup of tea, turn on an audiobook or listen to a podcast. I love Gardener's Question time and Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange with Sarah Raven. This time of year always provides me with many treasures to study. I love seed heads and teazles, pine cones, conkers and acorns and the rusty coloured leaves that I collect whilst out on my daily dog walks. The last of the flowers are holding on in the garden, being bent and broken by the cold, rain showers and blustery winds one day and then baked in the sun on the next. I still manage to cut the dahlias and roses to bring inside to make lovely autumn displays and this year I have picked up a few pumpkins and gourds to create a colourful autumnal display. Pumpkins are also great to paint and love to have a couple of small colourful ones on my desk.
T - Thrive
Self Care and Self Love is the theme for the autumn months. Being creative, connecting with Mother Earth and nature, foraging and walking with Audrey, my Norfolk Terrier is my therapy and keeps me well both mentally and physically. I love to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. A good time to enjoy the walk, focusing on the nature around and taking a break from technology which cuts my screen time. To become one with nature, which technology can remove us from. I like to get into the woods where the trees help me release stress, anxiety and irritation. A moment of mindfulness and meditation whilst walking. A good time to snap a few photos and to enjoy the sights, the smells and the sound of the woodland. Forest bathing has been proven to lower blood pressure and increases feelings of well-being and yes, I am a secret tree hugger. I have a couple of beautiful oak trees that I talk to, taking in the feel of the bark and their magnificent beauty. They were here way before me and will be here way after me. I ask them what they have seen over time and it sparks my imagination. I like to collect the fallen leaves which I like to press in between books. A walk through the woods and forests cleanse my mind and body and helps me to thrive. I can recommend a lovely book, The Wilderness Cure, Ancient Wisdom in a Modern World by Mo Wilde.
U - Uplift
Autumn inspires me in a positive way, I get to use a delightful painting palette of oranges, yellows, reds and browns. I recently treated myself to some shimmer paints by Artway, that includes shimmery golds and bronzes. I discovered handmade vegan paints by Nibs Watercolours. Gillian produces some beautiful and unique paints that shimmer and shine. I am looking forward to using my new paint dots that represent autumn leaves and the forest. You can find her on instagram @nibswatercolours and her etsy shop link is: NibsPensandInk. I love to draw and paint, but have to try and not to take it to seriously. Artists tend to talk about their style, but I like to just paint and express myself in a way that I enjoy, trying not to worry about art rules or style, nurturing the inner child. Artists paint with their hearts and I get great pleasure from painting a detailed botanical piece or a quick and easy pen and wash, experimenting with different inks and paints and using different techniques and equipment to mark the page. Lots of my paintings have splatters of paint on them, which means I can get myself and my desk into quite a mess. It's important that I have fun when I create art. I lose myself and time seems to fly. I feel uplifted. Nature and painting inspires and energises me and I hope my artwork and my writing uplifts and inspires others.
M - Mushroom Hunting
I have had the best fun this autumn looking for and photographing mushrooms. Not only is it a free activity, it's great getting the whole family involved and the dog gets to explore and have a good sniff to. I am not confident to pick and consume any of them and I would never recommend that you do without a professional. Some of the mushrooms out there are beautiful but deadly! I found a lovely class on Skillshare, Magical Mushroom Painting, taught by Vicky Jeffrey. You can also find her on Instagram @Crobbles. I've been painting for as long as I can remember, but I am always learning. As an artist it is good to connect with other like minded people where we can share our ideas and knowledge. We can all encourage and help each other to flourish. It's great to see other creatives posting their pictures of the mushrooms they've seen and painted and feeling part of a community.
N - Nature & Nuture
I know it's autumn when the House Martins and Swallows have gone. They move out and head to warmer climates and little Jenny Wren moves in. I start to fill up the bird feeders everyday as the chaffinches and blue tits squabble for their place on the bird feeders. The robins and blackbirds hop around the rose bushes looking for a tasty grub. The bird song sounds different this time of year. Like the autumn light it is somehow muted. The light is a golden glow and the sun shines through the trees casting elongated shadows across a wet dewy lawn. Autumn mists that cocoon the garden in a white misty blanket and spider webs hanging from the seed heads. There is so much to observe, but how often do we take the time to stop and actually look. The intricacies and details to see and study. I nurture nature and in return it nurtures me.
"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." - Kurt Vonnegut
Autumn helps me to reconnect with my joy and motivates me to get back into the studio. Although the darker mornings and evenings aren't my favourite, over time I have learned to manage and embrace it. It's important to take some time to nurture the soul. I find it helpful to write a gratitude journal. I have a pretty notebook and I write down 3 things I am grateful for at the end of the day. I would love to share this practice with you and for those that subscribe by email on my website you will receive a free gratitude page that you can print off at home, featuring little Jenny Wren. I have listed below some places I visit online that bring me comfort and sparks my ardour to feel grateful for the simple things in life. I thought you may like to take a look...
I read all of your comments and I will respond so please share what you love about Autumn and the little things that bring you joy.
Sending you love and light,
stay naturally curious...
Beautiful artist websites that have inspired me this month:
My Giant Strawberry by Anne Butera (Anne can be found on Skillshare for some lovely art classes)
Art School Blog by Anna Mason (Nature Journalling with John Muir)
You Tube Vlogs:
The Cottage Fairy
The Last Homely House