Sanford Gifford concentrated on the effects of atmosphere and weather and their ability to stimulate an emotional response in the viewer. As Gifford matured, autumnal landscapes became a favorite subject of his, probably because they gave him an opportunity to explore the subtleties of colored, warm light. October in the Catskills is a tranquil, almost dreamlike work. This effect was achieved with carefully modulated tonal graduations. Gifford applied the paint thinly, subordinating brushwork to the delicacy of the colors and to simple composition. The small male figure walking through the woods enhances the grandeur of the pristine landscape.