Our illustrious Diva, Laura Harms, has issued an autumn leaf challenge this week. Autumn has always been my favorite season of the year. I grew up in Chicago and also lived in Michigan for a number of years, where fall color is a tourist event!
Laura posted a photo of bright yellow trees - so beautiful! In Chicago, there was a nearby cemetery that was so beautiful in November at the tail end of the season just before winter stormed in.
October always featured brilliant blue skies as a contrast to the bright red leaves of the maples and oaks and the golden elm leaves (all gone because of Dutch Elm disease, sadly) But in November, skies are typically pale gray. Not necessarily storm clouds. Rain at that time is not the thunder booming summer kind, but that cold bleak drizzle that can go on for days. The red and gold leaves have dropped and been swept into piles and bagged. The bonfires are over, Trick-Or-Treat candy is eaten (or tossed by the moms), and it is almost Advent time. Have patience - I'm getting to the cemetery part.
The planners of that property must have thought of just that time of year, and didn't want the view for our departed loved ones to be completely dreary. Most of the trees there were leaf-bare by that time, but spaced out between those bare trees were bright yellow trees that kept those leaves until the very last minute. Silhouetted against that pale gray sky, with the dark, drizzle-wet branches of the other trees as a foil, those beautifully oval shaped yellow tree forms were just spectacular. It took my breath away with its beauty. I hope my dad (he's there) gets to enjoy that view every November.
Now, however, I live in the desert. Not exactly out in the wild - in the greater Phoenix area. Fall color here means the sage bushes display pretty purple flowers and it's almost cool enough (in the 90's) to plant some flowers in the outdoor irrigated patio pots. Trees here don't turn color, don't shed their leaves, and what leaves they have are pretty tiny and not suitable to be traced for a tangle string. This presented an additional challenge to the challenge. I could have just done some leafy patterns - there are plenty of those. But I liked the string idea.
Enter the dollar store. I found a pack of artificial leaves, which will look very pretty strewn around my Thanksgiving table down the road. They were small enough to fit very nicely on the tile, and I think it worked. I used a tan tile with Sakura sepia pen and Copic sepia pen (very different shades). I did my shading with a reddish chalk pencil, and confined it to only around the leaf shapes. So here is my response to the leaf challenge! Now I can look at everybody else's.
Happy Autumn (I missed posting on the equinox, but close)!