My most recent painting is named “Autumn Leaf Medley.” It was definitely enjoyable to capture so many colors. I filled my palette with eyedroppers of dye from at least 20 bottles in order to create my painting.
Collecting leaves in Southern California is not comparable to other areas in the United States where autumn leaves are prized for their spectacle.
But I didn’t have to hunt too hard to find examples of the season. I ended up being very inspired by the bland ones, such as the oak leaves. Even though they weren’t initial standouts, their interesting bluish tones really enhanced my painting.
These are some examples of photos that I used as reference for my painting:
This is an image of my painting in progress:
Whenever I see bright red autumn leaves, they evoke a very poignant memory about my young son, Jason. Sadly, he died in 1992 at the age of five from a congenital heart defect.
Jason loved colorful leaves and ironically died in the fall. My subsequent grief was triggered every year with the change of seasons. I expressed this with my song “Every Season,” for which I have a link at the end of this post.
The dying leaves that fell to the ground only reminded me of Jason’s fragility. When I found healing decades later, I was able to embrace my sad memories and discover insights from them. I will now share a sweet memory of Jason and I exploring the magic of autumn together.
An audio clip excerpt from my “Healing Grief” course on Insight Timer:
“Can I Keep Them Forever?”
For many years there was a particular street that I avoided. I could not face seeing the trees. It was because I remembered an autumn day when Jason wanted to see a red leaf up close. He didn’t believe they were real, with their intense, crimson color.
We drove down a few streets near our home, searching for trees with red leaves. There were very few because it was early in the season. Then I saw some trees with crimson leaves that were dangling within reach. While Jason waited in the car, I carefully picked several.
He examined those leaves carefully. His voice chirped with delight as he said, “Mommy, I love these leaves. Can I keep them forever?”
And that was when I told him leaves could not last forever; everything becomes old and eventually crumbles into dust. There I was, feeling wise as I taught him about life.
However, my young child ended up teaching me far more.
Links to lyrics, stories, recordings and performances for this song: EVERY SEASON