My wife, Caitlin, fractured her ankle in three places (and dislocated it, too). I believe there is a medical term for that. As you might imagine, things got a little hectic; especially, with two little kids around. So, I took about a two month break from painting, but this painting was the one that got me back on track. The idea for this scene was inspired by a hike through the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary in Ulster County, New York.
Burroughs once wrote about a man who reported that his vision improved after getting sprayed in the face by a skunk (or something along those lines). His observations in nature are as thorough as they are entertaining. I often wonder what it would be like to have that much time to observe nature and to spend an entire half a day sitting around outside, as he often did. Here’s to John Burroughs and a renewed zeal for painting in watercolor!
We were driving home one evening on a “school night” *gasp*…the sky really captured my attention. At this time of the day, the greenery, barn, and road are sort of muted in color and tone, as the sky is lit up in the few remaining moments before the sun has set. And so, in this painting the sky becomes “the story” or the point of focus. There’s this feeling of calm at the end of the day… less to do (hopefully), maybe a cup of tea and less TV.
Still thinking about our trip to the Adirondacks last September. Wetlands in the Adirondacks have long been a source of inspiration for me. This watercolor painting is not of the wetland where we first heard the haunting cry of the common loon or where we plunged into the water to cool off after a long hike. This one here is where Emma fell in love with Goldenrod!
When Covid-19 first broke out, I found myself with a little extra time to build a pond. I call it: my Pandemic-Pond. This is not that pond. This is a pond created by nature! This pond is somewhere out there in some obscure location where I imagine thousands of insects are abuzz on a lazy hazy mid afternoon. Frogs, turtles, and salamanders bask in the sun, as few random lazy clouds float on by.
Shadows can be most dramatic in contrast with snow. It is one of my favorite subjects to paint. The copper colored leaves still cling to young Beech and Oak trees all winter long. This phenomenon is called marcescence. There are a few ideas why trees may hold on to their leaves through the winter.
One idea is that Beech and Oak were once evergreen trees and are still evolving into deciduous species. Other ideas suggest that the leaves are used as insulation and nutrients as they drop around the trees closer to spring time. To the observer and artist, it certainly provides interesting subject matter for winter scenes!