Autumn Skies Colour Palette
from Whitehorse, Yukon to the Rocky Mountains to northern Quebec
Autumn skies lure venturesome folks to the forests and streams and mountains and roadways this time of year. It is annual pilgrimage time and everyone is in search of colour. Nature dresses up the landscape for another showstopper season. Colours that pop with the post summer cool down when the autumn skies are bluest. Red, orange and yellow against azul skies. Even mother nature knows that complementary colours, opposite positions on the colour wheel, catch the human interest. Every day the blends evolve, meld, and transition into a new canvas.
Depending on where you live the experience may differ in palette but always thrills. Within a mere hours drive north of Montreal, Quebec lies a haven of lakes and streams with a multicoloured Appalachian mountain backdrop. In the east you can find the much sought after crimson reds. On the western prairies nature sticks to an analogous palette, primarily tones of yellow and orange with different values. On the west coast the big leaf maples wield the largest brushes. If you want to venture north where autumn takes on the coloured dress earlier look for brighter bluer skies to show off the colours. Even for those who prefer or can’t get off the beaten path most are accessible from the roadside. Midweek, you are in deserted territory. So what are you waiting for?
For more on autumnal musings, see also:
The Power of One
A tree hangs by threads. Your flaky fibres grip lifeless.
A celebration of life is pending. Ode to a tree in midlife crisis.
Moss wraps, sticking to dead cells. Lichens grapple with skin that has rejected their fungal crust. Where to obtain their water and nutrients from the atmosphere now? Weakened digits lose strength and fall in the slightest breeze. A premature death at forty is barely passing rebellious teens. Loss of potential, smitten before peaking. Your hopes and dreams dashed by human interference. And so goes the fragile ecosystem nurtured by your loving shadows and flickering light for decades. Lichens and moss. Seek out another home on limbs offering vitality!
A wise sage reflects on the cycle of life. It was once a lively hub of activity. A young couple nurtured you as a wedding gift. The main lateral made a perfect swing for a seven year old, the trunk hide and go seek for the neighbourhood kids. Squirrels and other four legged tree creatures chased their mates around your trunk. Flickers and nuthatches flitted to and from safety under your boughs.
You could have been a dignified elder like the others on the coast. On your way to standing out in the crowd. A prominent sentinel. When they all fell away to the developers cut. Standing alone now. Only the wasted limbs remain on the ground. And a stub. Maybe a buddha will perch there. Isn’t that what humans do when they want peace?
Arms and fingers and legs and toes. Nothing left but the moss covered remnants. Woodpeckers still poke around the crevices but now that the lifeline has been felled, they only visit intermittently. Moved on, just like the humans. The grubs will move their parasitism on to another host, one that is not in a coma.
For more specifically on Garry Oaks and, generally, on the subject of one, see also:
The Power of One in a World of Many
Part 1 What Is One?
What is one?
Two points, a stick. It can hop but not walk or run. No arms for family or community to grab, hug, embrace, shake. Alone.
One, one, one.
Think about one. Skinny, branchless, without focus. Most of it’s life is clothed in black, unless the writer chooses Kodak saturation. How uninspiring is that?
It is only the beginning. A start that demands improvement. Bigger is better.
Lacking creativity, it cannot get much done. Where is the construction in one? The bones have no substance. Expansion is in order.
Unloved like the curvy relatives, 3 and 6 and 9 and the endless 8 it is always pointing the same. Leading but does not give direction.
It invites a taste but not a meal. Just one bite when one is never enough. Temptation for more but one is the end. Fini. Tout fini. It will not allow starvation nor satiation, only craving for more.
Solo, single, one, conundrum.
We beg quietude and peace, but frown loneliness. The oneness of a selfie that requires sharing with the world. Meditation is good, better in a class, single is sorry, partnered is praised. Follow the mass. Blend, do not separate. Lone begs a frown. Pity the unaccompanied. One is noiseless. No chatter raises alarm.
Determining place in a world of mixed messages where privacy is sacred, gatherings feted. It is a place that relishes crowd and revels community. Where family packs must be divided, unescorted proms bring furrowed brows, single supplements must ante up, motel rooms sport an unused bed, unshared food is tossed, companionless season tickets discarded. Independent but pitied.
This photography series explores the idea of one in a world of many. Our conflicting and communal relationship with one:
Tree Eulogy The Power of One
Military Parade, Alone in the Armenia Independence Day Crowd
Art and Inspiration
Where Does Art Inspiration Come From?
Your personal art bank is in a drought. Drained. And so are you. Spiralling into a creative idea funk without art inspiration. Again!
Where is that elusive art inspiration? Nature, people, music, walks, travel, urban life, solitude, books, materials, art shows. Uninspiring lists or endless possibilities?
Perhaps you need to seek outside influences. Follow trends? Colouring books for grownups do get the mind examining colour, form, focus, LINE (stay inside now). A return to childhood not your thing? Trendy inspires do not attract everyone. Perhaps you never liked colouring as a child. Some of us detested trying to keep within the lines. We just wanted to fill the page by our own rules. Outside of the lines, outside of the box, outside of your mind?
Art inspiration at other art hangouts can be a source for ideas. Gallery shows might be the act you want to follow. Art store bulletin boards. Just keep away from the temptation to buy more to feed the soul. Buying more gear or gadgets or paint will not fill the page. It is making the product, not acquiring more products that you need. Museums hold a cache of ideas on an inclement day. Watch for light falling, shadows creeping, highlights gleaming. These do not just hang out singly in photographs or paintings or sculptures or any one art form. They transcend across them all so get out and observe.
Colour, line, shape, form, value, texture, perspective. Nature is a master at whatever you want to perfect, or at least what you aim to improve. Pattern, rhythm, movement, scale, balance, unity, emphasis.
In nature everything from soup to lichens can be an inspire. Who knew tiny lichens could make such a big impact in art inspiration? One trend that will get you outdoors and arouse your art senses is a lichen hunt:
For more on venturing outside of the lines in your creativity, see also: