Fall is my very favorite time of year! I'm not sure if it is the cool crispness of the air, the ever changing fall foliage or the feelings of new beginnings as another school year unfolds. It marks the beginning of the festive holidays to come but also a very slight melancholy as everything curls up for a long winter's nap.
The weather is so amenable to pleasant nature walks where the shapes and color palettes make me swoon. Last weekend I took a little walk around my neighborhood and was so inspired by what I found, I thought I would share and maybe inspire you to use nature to get those creative juices flowing!
1. COLOR PALETTES DESIGNED BY NATURE: UNEXPECTED PLEASING PAIRINGS
I don't know about you but there is something about feeling the warm sun on my face on a nice crisp day that always makes me feel great! I didn't have to walk very far to find this:
This belongs to my neighbor on a shared fence. Virginia creeper in full fall mode! Isn't that spectacular? What is great about nature (among many other things) is it offers you great color scheme ideas.
What I love about this vine is the blue-ish/ purple-ish berries with the red stems. An unexpected and delightful color pairing, especially against the varying colors of the leaves. It's really fun to go out with your camera and take shots that are visually pleasing to you. When you get home and take a look at them, you can try to analyze what it was that inspired you and use it in your artwork.
I love looking up at this beautiful tree to see it against the bright blue of the endless Colorado sky.
In the photo above is the more muted colors of fallen leaves nestled on the backdrop of grass. I love the warmth of the yellows, greens, oranges, and browns that are so illustrative of the fall.
Nothing screams fall more than this color does! This would look especially cool paired with the blue sky.
The curly stem! Perfection.
Fall pastels? Didn't know they existed!
Pink-ish green clusters of propellers!
2. BE A COLLECTOR: COOL NATURE TREASURES SURE TO INSPIRE.
One of my favorite things about a nature walk/hike is finding little treasures. For me, it is all about the journey and not so much about the destination. Finding cool shapes, colors, feathers, bugs, (and anything heart shaped, of course) all inspire art and creativity. Just bring your camera and your imagination and see what you can find.
Just a bunch of dead foliage, right? I love this little collection I found in my yard. Great inspiration for shapes!
Experiment with your collections by placing and arranging them in different ways on a white background.
Use your finds as your models and muses.
Totally fell in love with this star shaped remnant of what was once a poppy. When you shake it, you can hear the tiny seeds rattling around like a maraca. See the tiny black seeds on the bottom? They are stored in the little compartments right under that umbrella!
That poppy reminded me that I had taken pictures of it when it was in bloom in the spring. I wanted to see the origins of what eventually became that little umbrella and it inspired this piece.
3. LOVE THOSE LANDSCAPES! GET INSPIRED BY THE COUNTRYSIDE
The beauty of the landscapes around here never fails to leave me in awe. You can get some great inspiration using your camera to create cool compositions, amazing color palettes, and focal points then you can come back to your studio and play until your heart is content. Better yet, set up en plein air and paint what you see while you are seeing it!
4. LET THE NATURE COME TO YOU:
Sometimes you do not have to seek. Sometimes nature falls right into your lap.
Sometimes in surprising and unforgettable ways. EVERY HAIR STOOD ON END for an hour after this happened...........Snakes are really beautiful to paint but not fun to see sliding down the window of your art studio and staring into your eyes!
Bunnies often accidentally fall into my window well. I always grab my camera and snap a few close-ups before the rescue effort. I can never paint enough of these cute creatures!
Stumbled upon this nervy guy in the middle of town on Main St!
Sometimes you are lucky enough to bear witness to one of these amazing sights.
5. LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD:
Sometimes when I see something it helps me imagine little scenarios in my head.
This hollowed out squash looked like the perfect bed for some little creature, I could just picture the little pillow and tiny quilt as he curled up for a long winter nap. He'd be wearing striped pajamas, of course.
Don't know if you can see this but it is an ornately crafted spider web. Didn't see the artist but was wondering what she looked like and how long this work of art took her to make.
6. FINDING NATURE IN URBAN SETTINGS:
Even if your live in an urban setting, there is still nature to found all around. You can go to a local park, botanical garden, or even your grocery store!
Over the summer I visited a botanical garden in Seattle. In the middle of this bustling downtown is a gorgeous exhibit which combined nature with delicate works of blown glass by Dale Chihuly. The effect was stunning, inspiring and unforgettable. I've never met a botanical garden I didn't like but this one was particularly memorable.
There was special detail taken using unique color groupings, heights of blooms, and shapes.
If you can't make it to a botanical garden, no problem! Just head right to your local market for a little nature inspiration.
O.K, Say your local grocery store does not look like this. Go inside and see what you can see.
Take a nice picture of a bouquet or treat yourself and bring one home for inspiration.
Well, if you made it to the end of this post, I hope you enjoyed it and that you can find some fabulous inspiration in nature! Happy Fall!