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Fall Color Inspiration

It was great fun to make new friends on the east coast at the New England Traditions show in October. Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I love all of the colors, harvests and crisp mornings. On my return flight to Boise, I could see the change of colors from my seat and it provided my inspiration for this article. Click here to check out my photo album of fall colors on Loew-Cornell's Facebook page! When my daughter was young, my husband, a native Californian, and I took her to the East Coast to visit relatives and enjoy the fall colors at their peak. After our trip to Boston, my husband said the colors were so bright that they hurt his eyes. Being from Southern California, he had never the experienced real change of seasons and we began our quest for a place to live that had 4 distinct seasons. About 17 years ago, we landed in Boise, Idaho with our kids in tow and appreciate every season as it comes. I love the sparkling snow in winter, the bright renewal of spring, and the lush colors of summer, but there is nothing like the warm, crisp colors of fall. This year, I thought it would be great to take time to study the colors and have them carry me through the less colorful months ahead. I invite you to join me on this adventure. In the early summer, I planted sunflowers and Indian corn so that I would have them to decorate, but I never imagined how much these seeds would enrich my study in color. After harvesting my corn, I shared with my students my discovery of how many colors are really in a cob of Indian corn. If you take a close look at the cob itself, you will see that there is a large variety of green including black-green, muted-green and teal. I always envisioned red in the corn but see instead that there are burgundy, purple and pink accents instead. The goldenrod and yellow colors warm the palette. When you really look at the husks themselves, you can see the creamy ivory color glazed with burgundy and green (and I did NOT do this with a paintbrush!) One of my students said, "If you painted a picture of this, everyone would think you added in all those extra colors, they would never believe that was how it really looked." I love the sunny color of the flowers in the summer and love them even more for their harvest of seed and the joy my family gets from watching the birds and squirrels as they feed and hide them for winter. I grew a variety of sunflowers for the birds in my neighborhood, but the squirrels love them too. While I was away, one enterprising squirrel ate through two of the larger sunflowers before I even had a chance to harvest them. I never really took the time to look closely at the flower head as this seed transition takes place and see that as the petals fade and the seeds are uncovered, these flowers hold another kind of beauty. The black/white stripes on the seeds play to the “Zentangle" [LINK TO ZENTANGLE ARTICLE in me and when I see how perfect the patterns on each flower head and seed is reproduced, it fills my need for detail and repetition. As I move further into my garden, I look to the squash and tomatoes and soak up their orange, gold, green and red tones. As Thanksgiving approaches, I not only am touched by the outward appearance of the squash, but am almost giddy with delight as I peak inside to see the rich tones of pumpkins and squash, and think of how they will be warming my tummy soon.

While driving through the streets in Boise, I witness the trees in my neighborhood begin to change and am encouraged to get on my tennis shoes and take a walk with my camera. The vines are rich with red and orange, and then turn to the burgundy and brown tones right before my eyes. The real study is to see the variety of colors found in every single tree. It appears that a portion of the tree is a variety of greens and then part of the leaves are red, yellow and even orange. I found one little leaf on the ground that had begun its change and had a halo of brown surrounding a yellow and green center. The leaves in the trees make me want to challenge my palette knife to mix colors that mimic these rich values.

Use these pictures below, and check out my entire albumn on Facebook [LINK TO FACEBOOK] for inspiring fall colors. Use your imagination to create something special and share it in the Loew-Cornell Community Gallery [LINK TO ACCOUNT SET-UP] to infuse someone else’s creativity. I hope that you see fall in a whole new light, and that these beautiful colors will warm and inspire you all the way to spring.

Red, brown, orange or gold… fall colors are a sight to behold! Happy Painting!

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