This painting is stylistically simplistic, and yet curiously evocative of its autumnal subject matter. The deep blue of the background is suggestive of twilight, with patches of white breaking through darker, more brooding areas of colour, not unlike clouds in an evening sky. Indeed, dabs of sombre navy blue splutter over the painting like rain, whilst the wave-like lines above and below the central image leave the viewer in no doubt of their watery connotations.
The central image is deliberately abstract; each individual viewer sees something different, perhaps imparting some of their own seasonal ideas about autumn into the painting itself. What could be a pumpkin lies to one side, while on the other spots of gold paint trickle downwards. Perhaps depicting a harvest festival, the painting is gently, figuratively suggestive rather than literally representative.
Only three colours are seen in the painting: orange, gold and blue. All three are autumnal colours; the orange and gold of fallen leaves curling on the ground and crunching underfoot and the deep, the thoughtful blue of the sky as the evenings draw in. This is a painting of textures too, with the raised surface of the textile canvas visible underneath the paint and the splayed, frayed ends of the canvas kept very much in view.
Sheena Richards is a young Scottish artist. The painting 'Autumn Festival' was completed in 1996.