There is no doubt that Autumn is my favorite season. I have loved Autumn my entire life for many reasons. The crisp, cool air, the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves, pumpkins, apple picking and my very favorite, Jack O' Lanterns.
Although Halloween was something I looked forward to, I can't say it was my absolute favorite holiday, however I couldn't wait to get that first pumpkin and begin carving an expression that would soon be glowing with cheery light on our front porch, usually many nights before Halloween.
I think part of that was my Dad, who being a creative soul and a kid at heart, took as much joy and creativity in making his own Jack O' Lantern as me and my sister.
Now, as an adult, I am attracted to all things Jack O' Lantern and have to rein myself in with each new year of Halloween decorations. Also, being a big fan of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", I was inspired many years ago to do a painting, (or paintings since the completed piece was actually two canvas panels), called Sleepy Hollow Wedding. One side being half of the Bride and the other side being half of the Groom, the Hessian soldier from Irving's story, with one shared Jack O' Lantern head.
Following this came Jack O' Piper, a jack O' lantern headed kilted bagpiper and a current Work In Progress "The Pumpkin Queen". Not to mention a recently completed commission with a Jack O' Lantern headed female character.
Sometimes as an artist, it is hard to explain exactly where inspiration comes from. I think, really, it comes from many little inspirations accumulated over time and brought together in a unique way in the artist's brain. Especially as kids we absorb moments or emotions, even if we don't realize it's impacting us at the time and find later that something we thought we had forgotten surfaces to make us smile again.
That comes across a lot in my work, surprising even me. My deepest intention with the images I create is to connect with a part of the viewer that they thought that they had forgotten or, perhaps, made them dream of imagined places. A happy memory or a shining, enchanted moment in time. Something that made them smile then and through my work, makes them smile again.
I know it is a bit early to be thinking of pumpkins and Jack O' Lanterns, but with the cooler air setting in I couldn't resist and certainly couldn't contain my growing excitement. I hope that you will take time in the coming months to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the Autumn season and, if you get the chance, carve a Jack O' Lantern and think of me. :)