As summer ends and autumn announces its dutiful march toward the vibrant and intoxicating crescendo of crimson, gold, persimmon, and burnt umber that surrounds us each year, it is only natural to feel a bit overwhelmed by not just the beauty of it all but also the striking change it signals. The days suddenly seem shorter and the sun feels just a little less potent, making it difficult to find the inspiration necessary to accomplish all that must be done.
Despite fall’s cooler temperatures and longer evenings, artists have found the months of autumn to be particularly inspiring and every bit as representative of rebirth as the months of spring. In fact, artists throughout history have provided us with ample methods for drawing inspiration for the fall season, so the three examples that follow represent just a small sampling of the multitude of possibilities that art and artists have provided for us.
Embrace and Accept Change
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Although Fitzgerald’s title character had sincere difficulty embracing change, we can find inspiration in the fact that the shifting season represents a significant opportunity to reflect on the past year with an eye toward improving ourselves in some way.
Reconnect With Nature
Artists have long recognized the potency of utilizing the various seasons as symbols contributing to some larger meaning or message. Observing nature closely and paying attention to the seemingly insignificant details is central to our understanding of what each season symbolizes and why it seems to be universally representative of something larger than itself. In all its forms, art often inspires us to reconnect with nature in a manner that fundamentally alters our worldview and shapes our experiences. Some famous artworks inspired by nature include Van Gogh’s “Irises“, Rousseau’s “Tiger in a Tropical Storm Suprised” and Monet’s “Water Lilies“.
Find Beauty and Meaning in the Unexpected
The attentiveness, observation, and deep reflection that art both encourages and demands is what allows us to recognize the connections and relationships that so many others simply fail to see. Autumn possesses a unique kind of beauty and encourages a similar kind of reflection, which therefore inspires us to constantly look for and find meaning even in the most unexpected places. Monet’s “Autumn Effect at Argenteuil” captures this feeling perfectly.