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  • Writer's picturevanessaosborneart

Moods of a Dawning Autumn

Autumn has arrived in my little part of the world. The weather has finally changed from sticky, hot summer days to brisk mornings and pleasant (as opposed to punishing) sunshine. The maple trees (named Autumn Blaze after a bit of searching) lining the road into Hahndorf have already turned red and have started falling. Everywhere across Adelaide there are signs – the fallen leaves of the plane trees, ornamental pears, maples, oaks, and ash trees are peppering our pathways with their colourful confetti. Comforting woodfires are being stoked, hearty red wines are being dusted off, and soup season (as my husband would say) is upon us - and it fills my heart with joy!

I love Autumn. Maybe because I am an Autumn baby? It’s the little things like walking through the fallen leaves and hearing them crunch beneath my feet or making piles of them and throwing them into the air for my daughter to run through.

What doesn’t excite me is that my precious roses will soon be slumbering for the winter. Pruning time is fast approaching. Oh, how I will miss them... but I do have plenty of photos to keep me painting my way through the cold months. A never ending resource – trust me, it will not run out!

Colours of Autumn across the Adelaide Hills

Colours of Autumn across the Adelaide Hills

(Photos: Vanessa Osborne)

The Promise of Spring

Another bonus is that it is time to visit Newman’s Nursery to see their beautiful camellias in bloom. There are also many other beauties to welcome and prepare for – my azaleas at home are flowering, it is time to choose what bulbs I will plant for a spring display, and, of course, the magnolias will start showing their exquisite blooms around September. It seems like a long way off, but we all know how time flies!

On the other side of the world, spring has sprung! Beautiful displays of peonies and tulips are putting on a hopeful display for the ‘Notherners’ who are ready to thaw their frozen bones from winter!

Pink and orange colourful tulip painting, in centre a alongside a pink colour palette, followed by a burgundy tulip painting. Paintings by Vanessa Osborne
Paintings - 'Spring Tulips' and 'Queen of the Night'

France is Calling!

While I have been busily locating my cool weather clothes for a mild Adelaide winter, I am also preparing for a little adventure. I have had the most exciting opportunity come up this year; an art residency at the French Art School with Jacqueline Coates! This is a dream come true; one I never really thought would come to fruition, but here I am preparing and packing, getting ready to go on the trip of a lifetime. I can’t think of anything much better than heading into a small French hamlet to paint [and eat] and have no other responsibilities to think of for that time!

I am not that interested in big bustling cities. Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of history, amazing architecture, and stunning gardens to see, BUT I am not so great in big crowds and fast-paced places that are an assault on the senses. I like peace and quiet, birds singing, animals lowing, the smells of nature. I haven’t had that kind of experience in years. For one, travel for me is a rarity, and secondly, my life is centred in suburbia with a focus on the corporate world and school runs.

Thank goodness my excitement has finally caught up with the anxiety I have been feeling about leaving my family for a couple of weeks to survive without me. I catch myself smiling, thinking about this holiday slash professional development experience. I am not much of a casual smiler... I am not unhappy or meaning to bestow on the world my ‘resting b!#ch face. I think it is the leftovers from the childhood of a shy girl. So many people tell me I should smile more. Even my daughter asks me to smile because she doesn’t want me to get marionette lines 😂😂😂

This makes me think of a line from one of my favourite movies called Enchanted April, where one of the characters states something along the lines of: ‘My husband says I have the face of a disappointed Madonna’ - and how she can't help it - it is just her face! Yet here I am, no trace of the disappointed Madonna in sight, simply smiling with anticipation.

I can’t wait to continue my exploration of painting floral subjects, albeit in different styles and methods – and even in a different country!

Floral Art and Big Blooms Paintings

Dahlia flower painting by Vanessa Osborne. Painting title is 'Unfurling'.
'Unfurling' Oil on Canvas

Thank you for following on my art journey. I invite you to visit my website Gallery at to view my large-scale floral artworks and follow my escapades here and on my social media pages (see links below). You will also find some paintings for sale in my online Shop. The shop will be closed while I am away - but it won't be for long!

So, until next time I wish you all health and happiness wherever you are, and I can’t wait to share with you some of my France adventures!

'The Light Within' Acrylic on Canvas and 'Forever Peace' Acrylic on Canvas paintings by Vanessa Osborne
'The Light Within' Acrylic on Canvas and 'Forever Peace' Acrylic on Canvas - These two plus 'Unfurling' are bound for the Campbelltown City Council Art Show & Sale 2024

PS – just an FYI for those of you dreaming about autumn leaves – I was delighted to find a local page dedicated to the trees of Hahndorf, which it turns out are a very deliberately planned display of gorgeousness... Search: Your guide to the Autumn trees in Hahndorf if you are interested in reading more!

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