Spring provides baby animals, summer does suntans and winter has Christmas, but for many, it is autumn that wins the battle of the seasons. Temperatures become bearable, so coats can be retrieved from the cupboards, the languor instilled by the heat is slain with a fresh gust of wind, and the parks transform into riotous orgies of colour. This is a time of energy and plenty – depicted in the arts by a sprightly hare, a horn of plenty overflowing with fruit or, as in the case of the Love of the Week, a kaleidoscopic mass of Virginia creeper, used to picturesque effect in Autumn by Eric Forey, Loved by India Van Spall.
If we were to listen to the poets, Autumn would seem a profoundly melancholy affair, as the likes of Yeats and Verlaine bemoan the cooling of the air as a metaphor for the passing of their owns lives and the move from youth to middle age. But with the chill comes the harvest, and with the fading of the sun comes the colours and richness of turning leaves. And of course, with autumn there is the promise of Christmas and festive excesses, so it really isn’t all that bad.
So, as we wave goodbye to autumn for good and embrace the realities of winter, here Van Spall tells us why she chose this picture, and what she would like to see from the window.
Why did you love this picture?
It perfectly epitomises my idea of Autumn. This is how I envisage my secret haven to look.
Where would you keep it if you owned it?
This would have to be in my bedroom. I find it really inspiring and it brings me a sense of escapism.
What would you like the view from that window to be of?
An endless stream of trees and hills, a lake and maybe some sheep. It would have to be remote but idyllic.
What is your favourite season?
Autumn, trudging through the leaves on long walks with my dog. Though I do love crisp winter mornings. The more layers the better!
What is your favourite plant or flower?
Gerbera flowers are so vivid and beautiful. I’m yet to receive any…my boyfriend hasn’t got the hint.
Where is the most romantic place you've ever been?
Though I felt like I was in a scene in Don’t Look Now, Venice out of season is eerily romantic.
What are you looking forward to about December?
Christmas of course! Watching old classic films and indulging on mince pies with too much brandy cream.
What was the last thing you bought?
A Chinese bamboo table that dates back to the mid 1800s. It sounds extravagant, but I instantly fell in love with it. Totally impractical as a desk, but it has so much character.