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October 5, 2013

Capture the colors of fall

Artists of all kinds keep beauty of autumn alive

The prophet of Fall Color slowly gets our attention. Starting the end of August, leaves gradually turn from greens to reds and yellows until peak season stops us in our tracks. Without saying a word, Fall Color even speaks to people indifferent toward nature.

The prophet tells us that transformation is unstoppable. And, it can be beautiful.

Fall Color even has a way of transforming spectators into thinkers, artists and scientists. Throughout time, those very fall colors are captured in poetry, paintings, photography and scholarly essays.

Robert Louis Stevenson, circa 1885, penned in “A Child’s Garden of Verses:”

Pleasant summer over

And all the summer flowers.

The red fire blazes,

The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer, Fires in the fall!


Painters have been able to illustrate year-round by putting to canvas the “fires in the fall.” Plein-air artists surround themselves in the colorful outdoors and paint a detailed scene to last for decades. Others work in the studio to bring fall color to life. 

Treadwell artist Marie Cummings has garnered two methods of capturing fall colors. “I pick leaves and use them as stamps or stencils in my artwork,” she said.

Cummings’ art studio is equipped with bright color paints. “The fall colors are first brushed onto the canvas as a background,” explained Cummings. “Then, I’ll paint a leaf and use it as a stamp on the painting.”

To highlight the intricacies of the leaf, Cummings said, “I’ve added gold paint to the leaf along the veins.”

“As for using leaves as a stencil, you can create a negative painting,” said Cummings. “A negative painting paints around the object, rather than painting the object, or leaf. I created a piece that was finished with a patina, giving a look of fall colors reflected in water.”

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