Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The art of autumn October 26, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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“White Mountains and Aspens” by Robert Wood, purchased several years ago for a few bucks at a garage sale spans a wall in my living room.


I’M MOSTLY A MINIMALIST when it comes to decorating. I wasn’t always that way. At one time I displayed lots of knick knacks in my home. I got caught up in the craft trend for awhile, too. But now I’m back to the basics. Of art.


One of the most unique pieces in my art collection is this work by Dutch artist Theodore Degroot. This LathArt was designed by Degroot and made by Austin Productions in the 1970s. The company used a patent to die cut the pieces. The patent on my art is number 4,061,514. I bought this at a recycled art sale.


Through the years I’ve collected an assortment of original and print art at primarily garage sales, thrift stores and a recycled art sale held annually at the local Paradise Center for the Arts. I buy what I like. And, if it turns out to have value, well, then that’s a bonus.


Kitschy honeycomb tissue art purchased recently at a thrift store for 20 cents.


I change my art out seasonally, sometimes more depending on my mood and pieces I want to showcase.


Even this vintage 1976 cloth calendar, purchased at a garage sale, is a work of art.


Right now art with hues of orange, of brown, of rust, of muted yellows grace my home.


Art from a maple tree, mine or my neighbor’s.


It’s as if I’ve gathered in the harvest, the landscape, brought the outdoors inside.


I stitched this crewel embroidery art in the 1970s from a kit gifted by an aunt and uncle.


Whether honeycomb tissue pumpkins, an owl crafted from wood, a crewel embroidery mountain scene, all are pieces I value. They appeal to me visually but, more importantly, intrinsically.

TELL ME: What type of art do you display in your home and why? Do you change it out?


34 Responses to “The art of autumn”

  1. Claudette Says:

    Well we’re still in the children’s art phase, and my daughter has a crafts itch! 🙃. I prefer less to more but that currently is impossible with my girl. So I let her go nuts!

    I love the owl art..gorgeous!!

  2. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    My paintings (not the photos) all feature trees and water. The media includes acrylic, oil, water, and print. One oil also has some collage with a partially unwrapped length of rope used for a tree trunk, the frayed ends are the exposed roots. I love it. Three of the oils are the same width and can be traded around from one room to another, the other is long and only one logical place to display it, over the sofa. Each has a story: when we got it, where it is from, how we got it, who the artist is, what it represents.

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    It is always fun for me to see what others have on their walls. Reminds me I need to do another “what’s on my wall” post. I have a mixture of originals by mom, prints by beloved friends and family pictures. Also some cross stitch I made back in the day (like your crewel) as well as popular modern signage with inspirational sayings in my office. 🙂 A bit of everything!

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    I am with you on the minimalism. I grew up in a home adorned with Home Interior Party items. The dusting was endless; not exactly the way I wanted to spend my Saturdays. Oh yes, knick knacks, the source of the endless dusting. We have a few photographs on display. With both the Mrs. and I being photographers, you’d think the walls would be plastered with them, but nope. I have more photos on the walls in my office at work.

    • I’d forgotten about Home Interior. I had several prints from those parties, but prints which are now long gone. I’ve seen them, though, in thrift and antique shops.

      It’s the dusting that I immensely dislike also.

      I don’t have any of my photos printed and on display. Interesting, huh?

  5. I have a few key pieces I display in my home and a good majority is my own photography. I love having photos of family and friends throughout my home too. Recently added a nautical chart of the water we live around and a kitschy piece from a local artist that represents a flock of birds at the local wine bar (aka water hole) – hehe. Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

  6. I love your needlework–what a special piece!

  7. Bella Says:

    Your posting title was creative and had me thinking of the art autumn brings to us indoors as a creative DIY pieces,knick knacks, framed art and even the seasonal colors scattered throughout our homes all inspired by nature’s ever changing landscape outside. Your posted images show your ever present keen eye for detail bringing a different dimension to the words autumn and art. .

  8. Norma Says:

    I have two paintings of barns. One is of a barn almost falling over. The other is a barn with trees and a fence, with a couple of corn stalks. and a tin roof. I love that painting. I’ve never paid much for items like that, but I splurged and spent a couple hundred back in the ’70’s. That doesn’t sound like much, but for me it was. I also have a smaller painting of an outhouse. Love ’em.

  9. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    Such unique and beautiful pieces Audrey, but that crewel embroidery art that you did, oh my!

    • Looking at that crewel embroidery now, I think, “Did I really do that?” I loved that type of handstitching back in the day. Hopefully (one) of my kids will appreciate it when I’m gone. I’ve bought some wonderful pieces of embroidery at garage sales and wondered why no one in the family kept the handiwork of their loved one.

  10. Sandra Van Erp Says:

    Stitchery pieces live forever. I have waving trees done while recovering from one of my frequent bronchitis attacks over Christmas pre-1974. Blue is no longer my colors, have to plan a place for it. Art lovers have that challenge if home is the only place and you do photography besides!. Needlepoint and embroidery – remember pillow cases and dish towels? Daughters did cross-stitch and yarn hooking. That mountain scene is spectacular! My trees are good, but that is really something. I spend more time in the creative arts building at the State Fair every year than the food building. It’s healther. Stitching is no longer recommended for my eyesight. One daughter used to do watercolors, wish she still did. Maybe in retirement.

    • Oh, Sandra, you have packed so much into this comment. Yes, I embroidered dish towels, pillowcases, dresser scarves, even clothes (smocks to be exacty; popular back in the early 1970s). I sewed my own clothes back then and also sewed my grandma’s dresses. I need to resume one of these hobbies.

      Yes, the creative arts building would be a healthy place. 🙂

  11. Littlesundog Says:

    What a lovely post! Our home is all about wildlife now. I have donated most old decor, and have replaced it with everything woodlands. We still have a few antique items from grandparents, but I have been giving a lot of those types of items to family who want them. I collect all sorts of things on my hikes which I use for decoration in our home. FD has a couple of deer mounts, and European skull mounts (he does these himself from yearly harvests) and fashions other decor from antler sheds we collect in the spring. We also have some lovely paintings and art by friends who know our love of wildlife. And now with the orchard, FD is thinking about woodworking and carpentry to work on when he retires. For us, decor is ever-changing here, but it’s very much about nature nowadays!

  12. Although my mother taught me to embroider when I was just a kid. I didn’t have the patience for crewel embroidery. Lovely as are your other pieces.

  13. Valerie Says:

    I just had a canvas made of a photo I took on the north shore…of fall colors up there. I have not changed out my artwork but I will now…it’s an interesting concept.

    • I need to do that– get some canvas art made of favorite images.

      While in Detroit Lakes, I found two paint-by-number autumn scenes at an antique shop. For $10. I love them. I switched out some art and put them up after I unpacked this evening.

  14. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I’m a minimalist too except in my craft room. I mostly display pictures of loved ones. I love that stitched picture you made

    • I have pictures of my loved ones displayed also. I just added more art to my collection, including two fall themed paint-by-numbers purchased at an antique mall in Detroit Lakes while on vacation there last week and two items from the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Faribault. I can’t pass up unique art at bargain prices.

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