October…A Reminder of Change!

Autumn Leaves
Image by Tom Olliver via Flickr

So far this month has been one of many contrasts! The great autumn colors of the trees have seemed especially brilliant outside our windows this year. Some days have been wonderfully warm and sunny, perfect for time outdoors hiking on a mountain trail or raking the falling leaves. While on other days the temperatures have plunged below freezing, as if warning us to prepare for the coming winter!

Image by *~Dawn~* via Flickr
Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.
Image via Wikipedia

The area farms display an abundance of pumpkins, gourds, and varieties of squashand apples to take home and find the recipes for fall dishes, such as traditional pumpkin pie, baked butternut squashapple crisp, and pumpkin soup. It is an inspiration to the eyes of an artist, as well as to the resident chef.

As the month of October ends, I am reminded of how life just does not stay constant but is always changing and transitioning into new phases.

Sometimes I am ready, sometimes not,                                                                                                                     but nature just outside my window is always there…                                                                                                                                              quietly reminding me.

First Glimpse of Fall Colors…

First Fall Colors

The first day I notice a flash of red or yellow among the tones of green in the woods, it is always a surprise to realize that summer’s end is drawing near.

Soon the tawny colors of Autumn will paint the landscape…Nature will get our attention with a visual reminder that life will always include changes–transitions from one season to another.

This seasonal transition has also served as inspiration for many artists over the years. In a past fall season, after collecting some of the first colorful fall leaves, I traced and used their shapes to design these wall-hangings.

The same leaves were used in both but experimenting with different types of prints, color, and quilting lines resulted in two variations on the same theme.

First Colors of Autumn, #2.
First Colors of Autumn, #1. Fused appliqué, free-motion quilting on cotton, 22 x 20 1/4". © 2009 Joni Beach.
First Colors of Autumn, #2. © 2009 Joni Beach.
First Colors of Autumn, #2. Fused appliqué, free-motion quilting on cotton, 17 1/4×17″. © 2009 Joni Beach.

So in the coming days, I will continue to observe the change of colors in the fall landscape, marvel at the brilliant variety of colors…

along with the many transitions in life.


*I realize not everyone experiences a fall season in the climate in which they live…I’d love to hear about which season or type of climate inspires you!?*

Orange, Rain, & Fire…Inspiration

Orange Color
Waiting Flowers

This has been a week of rainy days with cool, sullen color here in the mountains of Virginia, instead of the warm, sunny spring days that I mourn for! I turn on all of the lights, grind the beans to brew a pot of hot coffee, and build an end of the season fire in the fireplace.

Fire Orange
Fire Orange

My eyes look around and search for something that will inspire and motivate me to action.

I stopped by Crow’s Nest Farm this past Sunday– a warm, sunny afternoon–to buy flowers for the yard. The flowers that were bought are now waiting to be planted in the earth.  The marigolds were selected mainly because the deer, which regularly visit my yard to eat all the greenery, for some reason do not seem to like these. Also, they were chosen because of their warm, vibrant color—the yellows, the oranges, and some orangey brick red.

Waiting Flowers
Waiting Flowers

The bright oranges and yellows provide visual stimulation that perks me up, motivates me to get some work done, and to create in the studio.

Then, there is always a need for some contrast with cooler colors, such as purple

Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena

Oh, and perhaps the reds have their merits too!

Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red

Yummy!  🙂

Color is not only an inspiration for an artist but also plays an important role in our everyday lives. There has been a lot of research on the psychology of color and its effect on people. But for now, let’s just end by saying, when it is rainy and cold outside, the color of orange is like a fire—it can provide warmth, visually, to inspire us until the sun shines once again.

♦ I’d love to hear about your color inspirations! [click on small gray words below,  “Leave a Comment”]