Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Autumn Leaves" Oil on Hardboard 5"x7"

     The end of summer, and the beginning of autumn always comes as a surprise for me. It seems like a mischievous prank; the shortening of the days, the way the sunlight changes and fades for seemingly no reason. Long summer days are the natural state of existence for me. I live in summer. I feel most like myself when the sun is high and the ground is warm and the lightening bugs appear and dance in the trees, and the Chuck-will's-widow calls from somewhere deep in the woods.  Must summer really come to an end so soon?  I think I wouldn't notice if it didn't happen at all, or until December, and only then if someone happened to mention it.

     Most people don't know that in Florida, the leaves don't fall off the trees until some time in March, when the new ones push them off. The trees just dump them, all at once, and put on their new leaves practically overnight. I realized when I moved to Kentucky, that fall and winter are real seasons. They show up, and show off, and stick around until you really get to know them, whether you want to or not.  Leaves falling here encompasses the very essence of the season. It's not a small thing. The color alone is worth living through it, at least once. If you have a yard, you really need to rake them up, so they don't kill the grass.  This is something that will keep you busy, and keep you from noticing how short the days are getting.

     I realize as I write this, that it's January, and snow is falling almost everywhere, and the days are getting longer. I did this painting back in October, because I couldn't resist trying to capture the mood, and embrace the change of season.  There are many kinds of oaks, but these are Pin Oak leaves. My husband loves Pin Oaks for their symmetry, and stateliness. This painting is for you, Jim. I love the oak trees you planted that line the drive - even before there was a drive, and for having a vision of what it could look like one day.