Autumn 2022: In the garden

I’m just back from a beautiful Australian summer, into deep, cold winter; dreaming of the bulb-laden spring around the corner…whilst looking at my autumn blog post that’s a little overdue.

Is this what happens when you get old? All four seasons truly blur into one? 

I can’t keep up!

But there’s something very nice about enveloping yourself in another time; especially when the current one is so very bleak right now. 

Looking at the fullness of the borders, the warmth of all those colours, the fruitfulness everywhere you look – everything giving of its very best, everything it can possibly muster before the turn of the year.

Being transported back in time makes you appreciate it all the more. You see the wonder of it with much greater clarity. And realise spring, summer, autumn are so special because of the bleakness of now. The contrast conjures up that magic.

You also notice the detail of the seasonal differences so much more, being one step removed. 

The light has a softness to it that only appears after the peak of summer, yet the sun is still high in the sky, falling vertically, rather than horizontally, as it does now. 

It appears as a warm, golden light, peeping through the expanding gaps in the trees, reflecting the autumnal colours we know so well.

It seems to electrify, to magnify, the asters, the blues jumping out as if almost fluorescent.

And you don’t take for granted the bounty of life when observing from afar: how the crescendo peaks all at once. Way more than just the fruit on the trees, it’s the hips on the roses, the shrubs full of berries and even the toadstools all fruiting in symphony. 

And how those colours, soft ochres, burnt oranges and burgundy reds, seem to wrap you up in a warm caress. An atmosphere of safety and reassurance prevails.

I’m looking at colours and light in a whole new way since I began painting.  I think I’ve always been very much drawn to both, but I’m looking at them and understanding them to a greater degree now.

I’ve had so many light bulb moments whilst experimenting. I suppose it’s the same with anything at the start of a journey – the excitement of being on the very steepest part of the learning curve.

I can see how paintings can move beyond a photo. Not just in terms of their creativity and skill, but in terms of their messaging. So often I find it hard to capture the moment in a photograph. 

It doesn’t do justice or stimulate the feelings that I have looking directly at nature. Photographs can hide a multitude of sins, but they are flat, they are one-dimensional and they proffer the entire view in regimental uniformity.

A painting can talk to you. It can tell you the most important thing in the composition. Just as your eye, out in nature, will draw you to one object, a painting can select what it wants to bring alive.

It can make the light as bright as you like; the sunset to appear as your brain interprets in real life. It can even exaggerate it, if you so decide. You pass on what you want to pass on, through the act of painting, not what the camera decides.

And so I’m wondering if I can develop my blog to be a medium of both photographs and paintings.

But I’m a little scared by the idea. I can still count on my digits the number of times I have held a paintbrush – not quite up to the 10,000 hours it supposedly takes to become an expert at something!

And if I sometimes struggle to find the time to post with photographs, how on earth will I manage to paint my story?!

But, when you are scared, it usually means you are expanding your comfort zones. And what do I have to lose? I’m sure you’ll all be polite with me, through pity, if nothing else! And I can stop, if it doesn’t work.

I want to learn to express myself through paint; so far I’ve found it exhilarating, surprising, enlightening and I’ve met so many lovely people through it. 

Giving myself a structure, in my blog, upon which to focus this learning, may help me maintain momentum, even whilst the seasons are flying by and we feel so short of time.

So, let’s give it a go and we’ll see what happens. 

It’s invigorating to try something new!

13 thoughts on “Autumn 2022: In the garden

  1. Jan says:

    Such a talented lady! Well done Janna. Always love your garden and photography, and now adding painting to your skills list, hope you carry on enjoying all your hobbies.
    Love Janxx

    • jannaschreier says:

      Hello Jan! We really must get together – I think of you every time I drive along the M40. Covid has obviously been a bit of a complication of recent times, but perhaps not now? If you are up for it, yours or mine? And thank you for your kind words.

  2. Suzanne says:

    What an exciting concept! So many times I’ve taken a photo of some magical image/moment, to me, only to be disappointed at my clumsy photographic skills and delete the image in disgust. That you take such beautiful photos and yet still have the same issue makes me feel a little less an inadequate photographer and clearly articulates why many good garden makers are also good artists. I love your first shared painting, how it captures the light, and greatly look forward to seeing your garden through your painters eye (I was going to say artistic eye but both your garden and photography are such artistic works in their own right this is already demonstrated).

    Thankyou Janna for sharing this new adventure. As long as you enjoy the journey it doesn’t matter if it’s successful or not, it will be fun. Happy painting. Suzanne X

    • jannaschreier says:

      I’m sure your photography isn’t clumsy – sometimes it just doesn’t look as it’s supposed to! And if you’re not into filtering and manipulating the image to death (I quite agree on that one), it can be pretty hard to make them behave at times, I think for professional and amateur alike. But thank you so much for your encouragement about my new adventure. Still pretty scared but I think even more excited than scared! As you say, enjoying the journey is what it’s all about. I’m never happier than when I’m on that steep curve!

    • jannaschreier says:

      Thank you Kathie. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Melbourne on this trip, although I did experience some cold weather in Tasmania and NSW. Mind you, it’s all relative, it was positively boiling compared to the minus 12 I left behind and the minus 7 I came back to!

  3. Louise says:

    She’s back! So excited to read and view what you share. Painting! You won’t believe this but I’m currently looking at beginning a watercolour painting course. I always enjoy a wander through your beautiful garden. Hope you enjoyed time in Australia. If that’s your first attempt at painting, I’m astounded!

    • jannaschreier says:

      You are sweet, Louise!! It’s lovely to be back. Hoping I can increase the frequency of my posts again with my new idea to keep me focussed. That’s so funny that you are looking at watercolouring too. It is such a lovely thing to do – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I lurch from ‘this is SO hard’ to the enormous surprise of ‘oh, I’ve actually done something recognisable’, but I think that’s what makes me love it so much! Let me know how you get on.

  4. Deirdre says:

    So exciting about your new adventure into painting! Love the one you posted. I so treasure the paintings my mother did of my garden before she became blind. I am often so very disappointed in photos of my garden !

    • jannaschreier says:

      Thank you Deirdre. We’ll see whether or not I can paint anything worthwhile! How lucky you are to have paintings of your garden by your mother. They are such very precious things, especially when created by someone close to you.

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