Spring ahead, Fall back

This always sounds like a different way of saying one step forward, two steps backwards.  But here we are, deep into Autumn, according to the calenders.  I seem to operate on a simpler calender comprised of two seasons; gardening season and non-gardening season,  summer and winter. To my mind, fall and spring are simply margins that expand and contract with the vagaries of weather and, now, climate change.  To fellow gardeners this is just wrong, to fellow painters, well, fellow colorists (a distinction, for sure), this seems right. There’s either color or there’s not (and I’m not even a landscape painter)! Tome upon gardening tome will illuminate with lessons about structure, architecture, shape, form, line…all the virtues of the winter landscape and I know that therein lies truthes, profoundly important ones, and yet, without color, it’s homework to me.  Of course I love red and yellow and white and purple berries as much as the next sighted being, and though regarding the bones of the landscape,  tree trunks, branches, stone, in all their elegant greigious argentata,  is a stimulating and refreshing palate-cleanser, come the first frost,  I want to be in the studio working with my cheerful primary and tertiary pigment friends. No matter if I’m designing a garden for a client or mixing colors for a painting or a decorative object or a mural, as long as I’ve Mozart and Bach and the woodstove to keep me company I’m comfortable. This is not to say that I’ll ignore the hellebores in March, or the daffodils in April, or even the peonies in May (really, the peonies, for me, fall into the summer category) but that I crave to vitalize the winter palette with color from my own  mind and inspirations that I’ve gained from others. More to follow next week, when all will be revealed.

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