Janice and I had the opportunity to visit some friends in North Carolina this past October. What an amazing time.
Janice and I had never seen the fall colors back east. We tried once a few years ago when we visited New York City in the hopes of seeing Central Park in all her fall glory. It wasn’t meant to be. That year fall had been very mild so we missed the peak of the colors by at least a couple of weeks. We saw glimpses here and there and it was certainly enough to come home and do some paintings, but it wasn’t what we came for. We would have to wait.
The few days we spent in western North Carolina was a different story. The colors were at peak, or at least very close. Our days were spent in the car just driving from town to town seeing the colors in all their glory. If you’ve never witnessed fall colors it’s really quite hard to describe. Bright displays of yellow, red and orange. Whole mountain ranges in the distance had a rosey hue. Rivers and creeks parading through canyons and valleys lined with color not unlike the piles of paint on my palette. It was truly a gift, a gift that was fleeting.
The fall colors, like all things beautiful, are fleeting. Beauty doesn’t last very long. It’s there for a few weeks or even a few moments and then it’s gone. I think that’s the way it’s meant to be. Beauty can be appreciated much more when it lasts but a moment. Take a sunset; can you imagine if sunsets actually lasted all day? They would become boring, ho-hum, just another sunset. How about a dozen roses? what if they never died. Would they still be as special as they are?, as beautiful? I remember when Janice and I had the chance to visit the Grand Canyon for the first time about a year and half ago. We arrived at sunset. Wow, sunset on the rim doesn’t get much better. What made it even more amazing was the fact that it didn’t last very long. 20 minutes after we arrived it was only a memory, but what a memory, what a gift. We couldn’t wait for sunrise the next morning, which again, only lasted a few minutes.
Even during our short visit to North Carolina, the fall colors were changing. The “winds of change” were sweeping through the valleys taking back the beauty that autumn brought. The trees were being stripped of their “bling”. Soon it would all be gone and we would be left with memories… and a whole lot of photo reference to paint from when I got home 🙂
Someday we look forward to going back to see the fall beauty return. I think the northeast might be in order for our next fall adventure.
Here are a couple of paintings from this trip. There will be many more to come in the coming weeks and months. Check in on my website to see more as they’re completed.