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Art-See: Autumn

The way I feel about Halloween is pretty much the way most people feel about Christmas: I soak up every minute of the month leading up to it, exclaiming, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” every chance I get. And then, when the 31st rolls around, I’m a little sad, because I know that it will be another 365 days until that special day returns again (and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that that day is also my birthday). To me Halloween isn’t the scary stuff and the tasteless costumes – it’s pumpkins, crisp leaves, cinnamon, youthful excitement, creativity and fall coziness. So in the spirit of enjoying all that fall brings, I’ve rounded up a few paintings that remind me of the season year-round.

1. Haystack (1938) by Thomas Hart Benton

On view at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Thomas Hart Benton always reminds me of Missouri (it’s where he was from, after all). His fluid paintings of ┬árolling hills and plains conjure up images of crisp fall days in the Midwest. This painting especially captures the feeling of autumn harvest.

2. The Corn Poppy (1919) by Kees van Dongen

On view at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This is how I want to look in the fall. A lovely head scarf with a pop of color. Much like his Fauvist colleague Matisse, van Dongen’s works stand out for his bold color choices.

3. Apple Tree with Red Fruit (1902) by Paul Ranson

On view at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

A non-traditional depiction of an apple orchard perhaps, but this painting has all the colors of fall. A bright sunset illuminates the sky with pops of red apples and wildflowers in the foreground.

4. Red Sunset on the Dnieper (1905-8) by Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi

On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The colors of a great sunset are the colors of fall to me: burnt orange, deep red, shady blues and purples. It’s also a symbol for the season: the ending of the day and the ending of a year.


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