F A L L C O L O R S
September is a big birthday month for our family..my son, husband and myself. Three birthdays right in a row at the end of the month. We took a trip to San Francisco to celebrate and ate a delicious lunch at the iconic Spinnaker Restaurant right on the water in Sausalito. My husband was invited to attend the USF vs. AFA soccer game, his college alma mater vs. his career alma mater. We went out on the pitch together with other family members for the coin toss. It was a beautiful fall day, and a great event. When we came home, fall was in full swing. It can be hit or miss with fall in Colorado. Sometimes we have a lot of color and other times an early snow falls, the leaves turn brown then drop like rain from the trees. This year was the exception, and the palette of autumn was splashed across the countryside with a bold brush stroke. To take it in before it was too late, we decided to drive up Ute Pass and also Gold Camp Road. Here are some photos from our drive.
The reflections caught my eye and reminded me of a plein-air workshop I took with Tim Deibler a few years ago. The workshop was in the summer and the reflections were mostly variations of green. This bright golden yellow was intense and made for a beautiful reflection. We are fortunate to have seasons in Colorado and the gifts they provide for everyday beauty. I am finding it more and more essential to take time and enjoy these beautiful gifts that exist right around the corner.
This is the tunnel up on Gold Camp Road. I wonder to myself as we drive through, how were they able to carve this out, inside of a mountain, back in the day. Ingenious to say the least. And it makes for an added challenge on the drive, hoping to make it through the tunnel before meeting the next car of onlookers.
In my daughter’s neighborhood, the developer made an intentional effort to create beautiful spaces. The streets are lined with foliage and trees. Just look at these bright red leaves I discovered on an afternoon walk with my grandson.
Other glimpses of fall I discovered on walks around my neighborhood.
How essential is beauty for our well-being, for our soul, our inner spirit, our mental health? There is a lot of study devoted to this concept. As depression hits record highs stemming from COVID lockdowns, experts are looking for answers. One solution I have read is seeking beauty. Taking time to look at the world around and admire its simple gifts of beauty. Perhaps by getting outside, having a cup of afternoon tea on your porch, or gathering an assortment of colorful leaves and pressing them into a book, sketching a sunflower, painting a watercolor inspired by autumn, having an artist date with yourself, observing the birds at your feeder, or creating a simple postcard with special ephemera inspired by fall. Perhaps these simple gestures of seeking beauty around us could make a world of difference in our well-being. Setting social media aside, and picking up a book to read, taking nature photos, making art, any kind of art, is soul food. The masters understood this all too well. They spent hours creating, absorbing the world around them, tuned into creation, every season, every scene from everyday life, and built their inner world, around their outer world.
Looking outside my window as I write this post the first snow is falling. Autumn is coming to a close and I am grateful I had the chance to take it all in. Maybe fall slipped by you, no matter, a new season is coming and there are many gifts of beauty to be found in winter. Join me in January for a painting workshop, The Winter Landscape. More details to follow when Bemis publishes the catalog. Until then, enjoy the beautiful you encounter just around the corner.