by Mary Karr

My garden is an endless source of inspiration to paint especially the during the glorious months of September and October when all about me nature begins to explode in breathtaking splendor.  Everywhere I look I see a wonderful glimpse of something to paint.

“Autumn mornings:
Sunshine and crisp air,
Birds and calmness,
Year’s end and,
Days beginnings.”
—Terry Guillemets

What a great time of year!  All around us on our country roads along the meandering Broad River down the Hickory Nut Gorge the roadside farmer’s vegetable stands are beginning to show their fall treasures of yellow and orange pumpkins and gourds.  Persey Shelly said it well, “There is a harmony in autumn and a luster in the sky.”  We don’t have to travel far to find an interesting art museum to visit or a quaint shop that is selling local artists’ works including paintings and photographs of our beautiful area.

One of the joys of this season is the abundance of pumpkins and gourds it brings to us.  These treasures of the fall garden have been an art inspiration to one of our Lake Lure Artists who has used these fertile crops to produce a creation of unusual form.  Susan Brooks has been able to take something from nature like the gourd and turn it into a remarkable piece of art.  It is truly amazing to see how she has worked a common gourd into an amazing art vessel.

This time of year reminds me of our fall cruise down the Hudson River enjoying the magnificent views of the Catskill Mountains ablaze with their autumn glory.  This scene still offers a continuous inspiration for many artists.  One of the most famous of these was the founder of the Hudson River School of Art, Thomas Cole.  His paintings are beautiful expressions of life along the river in autumn of the year.  He and other painters such as Asher Durand, Frederic Church and the iconic writers James Fennimore Cooper and William Cullen Bryant formed the Hudson River School.  It is a pleasure to visit the galleries and homes of these famous artists who lived and painted and wrote here.  Thomas Cole’s studio, Cedar Grove, is now known as the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and is open to the public.

F, Scott Fitzgerald wrote,
“Life starts all over again
When it gets crisp in the fall.”

Take some time to check out the displays of art created by one of the Lake Lure Artists at our Mountains Library on Bill’s Creek Road or the restaurants in Lake Lure and Chimney Rock along the Hickory Nut Gorge.  Hopefully soon my garden will again welcome a visit from you and inspire you to take up a pencil or pen and begin to sketch or your camera to photograph, unfolding a picture ready to paint of the flowers, the lake, and the mountains.