The colours of the autumn season are a rich collection of deep red, warm ochre, and scorched amber hues. These burnished colours, along with the drop in temperature and changing flora and fauna of this time of the year, have the ability to conjure up a host of feelings within us, like nostalgia for days gone by; collecting conkers and walking along leaf strewn streets whilst trick-or-treating, a sense of anticipation for the upcoming winter festivities and cosy nights by the fire, and a wistful recollection of the days of summer as we bid them farewell until next year. It is not surprising, then, that autumn has long been a source of inspiration for artists.
In 1885, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh created the piece Autumn Landscape with Four Trees: An Otterlo landscape featuring russet-leaved trees and a grey gloaming sky as the focal point. His friend, amateur painter Anton Kerssemakers, was so enamoured with the piece that Van Gogh couldn’t bring himself to sell it, and instead gifted it to Kerssemakers who hung it in his elegant grey drawing room. Of the autumnal study, Van Gogh happily wrote “Well, I never was so convinced that I shall make things which will do well, that I shall succeed in so calculating my colours that I shall command the desired effect”.
Austrian Symbolist and Art Nouveau painter Gustav Klimt is another revered artist who found creative incentive in the fall foliage. In 1902, he completed Birch Forest I, a glorious orange-dominated composition focusing on the towering spindly trunks of a thicket of birch trees, and a forest bed thick with a carpet of apricot coloured leaves. The golden tones of Autumn could be
posited as inspiration for much of his other work too, favouring them as he did in such pieces as The Kiss and The Tree of Life.
During his artistic career, Scottish-born painter James Cadenhead created the piece Deeside, a painting of a mountainous landscape in Wales shrouded by a collection of copper-coloured trees. In this painting, the elected member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour created a piece which emulated the boundless nature of the environment, with all its possibilities and limitless life, whilst also tinged with a faint sense of melancholy. The balance of these nuances beautifully reflects our understanding of the season; the eternal cycle of life and inevitable changeability of all things.
Beloved Brighton artist Sam Toft recently launched a stunning framed limited-edition canvas print of a couple and their Jack Russell Terrier, Doris, sheltering beneath the fiery glow of a magnificent tree in autumn entitled When Everything is Unfolding Just the Way It Should. The piece has a wonderful balance of contemplation and warmth and could surely brighten any wall whilst provoking a little thought and reflection.
Late Autumn Stroll by Jo Quigley and Autumn Rain Trafalgar Square by Alena Carvalho are two very different, yet both wonderfully well observed illustrations of the season in the UK’s capital city, London. Alena has made use of flame-coloured paints in a bold and loose style creating an illustration of the city of Westminster Square which is familiar and warming; whilst Jo has focused on a refreshing crisp blue autumn sky as viewed along the South Bank, and the long shadows cast by the low sunlight in the late season.
Croydon-born contemporary artist Chris Ross Williamson has recently created the piece Corton Woods; an atmospheric yet playful interpretation of his character Garfield Eldrich and his Jack Russell Barton Darcy taking an early morning stroll towards a copper-coloured copse. The limited-edition print is also accompanied by a poem by the artist:
“It's quite early in the morning,
the fields are still covered in dew.
“C’mon dog, let's walk in the woods
then head back home for a brew”
The flame and chestnut-coloured elements of fall have been favoured in many applications by artists, not only in depicting autumnal scenes, but by providing a rich palette for many different subjects. The combination of intense reds, zesty oranges, and uplifting yellows with the more sombre and earthy tones of raw number and raw sienna allow artists to generate a sense of realism, rawness and depth in their work; whilst combining the colour symbolisms of energy, passion, and transformation with earthiness, simplicity and balance, respectively.
In 1901 French Impressionist painter Claude Monet created Charing Cross Bridge, a warm orange dominated painting, punctuated by darker grey, blue and brown elements. The vibrancy of the orange is enhanced by the complementary blues and darker objects. Indeed, artist Van Gogh also
exaggerated the brightness of colours by juxtaposing them with complementary colours, saying “There is no blue without yellow and without orange [...] To exaggerate the fairness of hair, I come even to orange tones, chromes and pale yellow[...] I make a plain background of the richest, most intense blue that I can contrive, and by this simple combination of the bright head against the rich blue background, I get a mysterious effect, like a star in the depths of an azure sky.”
Contemporary Dorset watercolour artist Jake Winkle used a soft and swirling palette of orange and umber with splashes and strokes of blue and black to create his latest limited edition print Cool Highland; a delicately dynamic portrayal of a Highland cow head study.
On Golden Sands by popular artist of nautically themed scenes, Gary Walton, has been released today and features a beautifully balanced collection of autumnal colours, ochre and tangerine, and cool rich blues.
Loveable Rogue by wildlife artist Nicky Litchfield, and The Noble Horse by equestrian artist Josie Appleby embrace an autumnal chromatic collection, featuring a flame-coloured fox with an amusingly impish expression, and a warm umber-hued steed regally trotting across the frame.
Take a look at our collections of wall art on our online gallery or pay us a visit in our Fordingbridge location an enjoy the seasonal colours of our Hampshire Town and beautiful surrounding New Forest area.