This past weekend colder weather... relentless northwesterly winds and sheeting rains ripped unceasingly and mercilessly through the maple canopies... leaving only pockets of high colour here and there in the Oro-Medonte Hills. Colour from here on... up to the final stages of autumn will highlight the burgeoning and dominant russets of the oak... gaudy yellow softwoods... ochre tamaracks/larch and the groves of contrasting greens of reddening white cedar... darker black spruce "pointers"... and lighter green white and red pines. The fanfare aspect of autumn has been reduced to but a few plaintive notes... before unceremoniously submitting bare bones... to winter.
As I mentioned in an earlier post... Autumn is at best a bittersweet moment... a time to reflect about one's personal life and to give thanks... it being our annual Thanksgiving... for the copious blessings that we all enjoy. It is also a wondrous time to watch nature's creatures either preparing to winter... or to depart for safer and warmer latitudes to avoid it's harshness... and lack of food sources. Geese and crows ferry about neighbouring freshly harvested fields... fueling up for their long journeys south... while new faces like those of the grey-breasted juncos flit and rummage actively in the hedgerows and ditches... seeking out seeds.
Despite the realization... that winter will soon blanket the entire world with his ermine coat... and that leafless frozen tree branches will rattle their skeleton tune in all treetops... I really do love to be out painting... trying to capture the now muted colour and enjoying the acrid smell of fallen leaves, as they begin the process of mouldering away. Even man's presence seems less intrusive... and I look forward to the ambient smell of seasonal woodsmoke in the crisp cold air. There is an intrinsic beauty... even in the face of the likelihood of "too many " months of harsh cold... and gloom.
My wife always (constructively) complains that paintings completed from this period in the year are hard sell items... simply because of the simple fact that people do not want to be reminded about what is upcoming... or just passed. However... I choose to make these paintings for my Self... and I'm more than content to have a few of these hang about... simply to remind "Me"... that one can find beauty and something to enjoy... in all parts of the year.
Today's offering... completed en plein air... up north along the Madawaska River... just outside Algonquin Park is one of such paintings... a "reflection"... that I still much enjoy. It was completed in late October in the fall of 2004. I still get a great deal of pleasure from seeing the painting... and re listening... if you can believe it... to the actual conversations that I shared with my painting pals on that day. I hope that you enjoy this little "special child" of mine... and see something that redeems it... through your eyes and tastes.
I am at present buried in a smallish 12x16 inch commission... thankfully small.. and currently at the two thirds mark to being complete. I will knock this one out of the batter's box by tomorrow... with a couple of blazing fastballs... straight down the middle! It will be a "nice"... competent piece.... but it's about the lack of full artistic "ownership" of the process...
You all know what I mean by this! Grateful for the opportunity to pay the bills... and the confidence shown by my client in my painting style ability. Gratefulness as well... to have it in the done tray... so that I can joyfully return to day dreaming.... and painting again... outdoors!
Good Painting... and Happy Autumn... what remains of it... to All !!!