AN ARTIST'S PERSPECTIVE
As I always say at this time of year (you’ll be bored of it I know!) the first of September heralds the beginning of the meteorological start of Autumn (hurrah!). My absolute favourite season. The time when the summer manicness (is that actually a word? It should be!) comes to an end, the schools/colleges/universities go back, and calmness settles into the glorious autumn mellowness. I can almost taste it! No need any more to feel ‘obliged’ to go out just because the sun is shining, but to go out when it’s golden, misty, bronze and gorgeous! Just smell that woodsmoke!
This end to summer is welcome for me, although many won’t agree with me at all, and I have to say I wouldn’t blame them. It’s been a very hot/warm summer in most parts of the country, including the normally much cooler north, so lots of outdoor activities have been enjoyed by many on holiday. For me it brings on the dreaded hayfever and discomfort, but I’m still happy to see families enjoying themselves during the long summer break, and for days of sitting in the shade, drives in the countryside, and woodland walks.
There have also been some stunning opportunities to capture the beauty in our landscapes during the sunny weather, and I’ve just completed my final catch up piece for Summer 2022, from photographs taken mainly in late summer when the heather blooms. In particular in Scotland a few weeks ago, and a stunning drive on narrow roads over hill and vale from Corbridge to Blanchland, on a road I’ve never been on before, crossing Blanchland Moor and skirting Slaley Forest. Love that purple!
So now onto Autumn! The leaves started changing colour and falling to the ground in mid-August, a little earlier than usual. I also noticed that wild berries and rose hips were abundant weeks before normal, and the birds in our garden did their usual disappearing act that hasn’t happened until September/October in past years. Theory is they go into the Dene and countryside around us to eat the wild berries, and only return to be fed by us when they are finding food more scarce.
In many ways, the earlier Autumn we’re experiencing has a sadness and melancholy about it, as the year seems to be running away with us too soon. A walk around the lake in Bolam, Northumberland, quite recently, saw many trees displaying golden brown leaves, and a carpet of fallen leaves in the woodland under our feet. The feeling and smell in the air and within the wind was definitely autumnal. Our seasons definitely seem to be changing, but that might just be a temporary thing. As long as we still have distinguishable seasons, I’ll be happy.
For me, personally, this Autumn brings with it new opportunities, and challenges perhaps, as I once more embark on my artistic journey after a whole year of being unable to paint through illness and lack of mobility, especially in my hands and wrists. To pick up my brushes again and produce a few paintings, albeit looking like they were painted by a beginner, is quite a step forward for me. And I’m joining a very good art group (Morpeth Art Group) this September, hoping that being in the presence of like minded friends and artists will encourage me to paint more, and bring an arty social aspect into my life that has been lacking for some time. Plus the added bonus of some exhibition opportunities.
I’ve remained a paid-up member of Coquetdale Arts Centre in Rothbury too, despite not having any new work to submit to the gallery for over a year. But that’s changing too with new submissions now there, in time for the lead up to Christmas (if I dare say the word!), and more in the pipeline. My head is so full of images that I want to paint that it’s getting very crowded in there!
Instead of our usual journey up to North Northumberland and the Scottish Borders this November, my sister and I are travelling further north for a few days holiday in Scotland, on the shores of the beautiful Loch Long. By coach this time, so I don’t have to drive. Very late autumn, almost into winter, I’m hoping that the weather is kind to us and I can get even more inspiration from the beautiful mountains, lochs, castles and glens that will surround us, with maybe even some bright, frosty days and a peek of snow topped mountains.
All good for the soul, whether you’re artistic or not.
Happy Autumn everyone, and I’ll be back to share my ‘Winter Thoughts of the Season’ in late November/early December.