By Mary Karr

Autumn’s first frost will soon be upon us and the days of dormancy will begin.  The apple harvest is beginning and the great abundance of fruit and vegetables in the outdoor food stands entice us to take a drive in the country and to enjoy the annual turning of the leaves. For the painter this a wonderful time to experiment with color. Ocher and orange, earthy browns, rusts, wine reds, and soft golds now tempt us to our easels. Inspiration seems to flow easily from the sheer majesty of a place.  Sometimes a simple walk around the woods that surround my garden will produce branches of red berries to paint. It is also the time of the year to bring my painting gear outside to capture the moment of the autumn sun shining on a lovely scene before me.

Fall reminds me of my favorite artists of the past, particularly the Impressionists like Manet, Renoir, Dagas, Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, and Cezanne. They produced something totally unexpected and original within the space of a few years. Impressionists see a picture as a blend of color splashes forming a whole in which figures and landscapes are merged. Impressionists were undeterred by prejudices of their more learned contemporaries and these artists began pursuing their own experiments. They lightened their palettes and brought their work out of their indoor studios into the open air. In the space of a few years a creative outpouring began to change the way artists saw their canvases and this new uniqueness also changed the way people viewed art. Although fashions in art do evolve, time has shown us that lovers of fine art find the famous artists, known as Impressionists, are their favorites. There was a period not long ago that a famous painter and collector, Gustave Callebotte, had difficulty giving his work away. Today, Impressionists are recognized as a veritable cultured treasure.

“Look for bright light and deep shadows, the rest will come naturally, and it’s often little enough.” Monet

Another treasure awaits you in Winston-Salem at the Renolda Museum of American Art. Georgia O’Keefe, one of America’s most famous and popular artists, is the star of a wonderful exhibit of her work. This is one of my favorite art museums and the response to this spectacular event has been very exciting and rewarding. It is certainly worth the two hour drive from the Hickory Nut Gorge. Please check it out and you will be glad you did.

Our Lake Lure Artists continue to expand and develop all their creative talents. Their work is constantly changing at various places including the Mountains Library, restaurants, and galleries and art shows. We still meet twice a month at 9:30 am. on the first and third Thursdays. We welcome any newcomers to join us.

“Sincerity in art is not an affair of will … It is mainly an affair of talent.” Aldius Husley