It’s that time of year again. Days are shorter, the rain is back, and the trees have all gone garish reds and yellows. I’m not a big fan of Autumn landscapes, but as I still have to paint outside, I thought I’d try to find some inspirational paintings to help me along. Inness was probably the greatest painter of fall, and by the sheer amount of scenes he did this time of year, it would appear he really enjoyed it.
The problem I have with painting fall scenes is that is very easy to end up looking like a Sierra Club calendar (no offense to the Sierra Club) in the sense that the views can be too beautiful. A story I often tell my students is about the time I watched dolphins jumping in the Pacific at sunset, a stunning thing to see, and very moving, but under no circumstances would I ever recommend anyone try to make a painting of dolphins jumping at sunset. Some things can be inspiring and beautiful without being remotely picturesque and it is part of the landscape painter’s job to decide which is which.
Here are a couple of Levitans as well:
If anyone has more good Autumn landscape paintings to recommend, I’d love to see them.