Autumn is the time when the warmth dissipates and rains and winds sweep away the last traces of summer. Plants wither and trees start losing their leaves. Before they cast them off, though, they break out into a joyful array of bright colours. Their leaves take on all shades of yellow, orange and red – warm colours reminiscent of the lost warmth of summer.The result is a festive mood – a last joyful feast before the dark, lifeless cold of winter. Helmer Osslund was dedicated to capturing these kinds of atmospheres in nature. He wandered through the North of Sweden to paint the landscape. In this painting he captured the calm serenity of lake Kallsjön, mirroring the mountains of Jämtland and framed by bright autumnal birch trees.
He used strong contrasts – bright colourful leaves against dark, smooth mountain slopes, the crisp white bark of the birch against a row of dark conifers. He simplified – the pale sky and lake as well as the dark brown mountains are almost monochrome fields of paint. Thus the painting becomes expressive, leading all our focus on the beautifully bright, yet serene atmosphere of autumn.
Take this impression out into your day. While you huddle into your rain coat and move from one place to the other, take the time to stop and look around. Appreciate the colours of nature right now and take them into your heart to warm you.
Artwork: Helmer Osslund, 1907, Hösten (Autumn). Seen at Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.