I just met a woman who is also a painter, and she lives only about a mile away. We have gone painting a couple of times, and having a painting buddy is very motivating to get me painting more regularly.
For the past several years, I had gotten more in the habit of studio painting, and was doing little painting on location. However, I need the challenge of painting a scene on the spot, and knowing that I have to get it down quickly, because the light changes so fast.
Jane and I painted in south St Louis at the corner of Loughborough and Field. There is a quaint old brick house at the corner, with some whimsical trees, and stepping stones laid around. I think these types of properties are so much more pretty and interesting that a perfectly manicured new home with that sterile, plastic look to it. I love the weathered, irregular look. It tells a story, and I can feel the history that happened here.
So I was very drawn to the two trees with the colorful autumn leaves still clinging to them, even into December, since we’ve had such a mild autumn. I love the contrast between the bright colors of the leaves with the bluish grayness of the neighbor’s house behind it. I also like the contrast of the straight lines of the houses with the sinuous, twisting lines of the trees that almost seem to be dancing.
To be honest, I had a hard time with this painting. My heavy, bulky coat managed to knock one of my pastel trays onto the ground, spilling them all over. I also didn’t simplify the scene at first, and tried to include too many elements. I messed up the sky, and had to remove it, and redo it. I tried to soften the pastel marks of the left tree, and ended up with a muddy mess. At one point, I was so frustrated I considering giving up on it. Thankfully, I calmed myself down, and just went on trying to rescue it. It came out better than I anticipated. Here is the listing in my online store.