Shifting Light

November Forest

“November Forest”

More commissions are in progress in my studio, but I wanted to share this painting with you.  I started it quite awhile ago and it just needed a few touches to finish.  The inspiration came from a new forest preserve here.  It isn’t very high quality right now.  The task the preserve district now faces is restoring habitat in all of the land they have bought over the past several years.  But lots of land has been saved from the greedy developers, so whew!

Although this preserve as a whole is pretty degraded, it does possess this regiment of oaks taking their stand on a hill.  Walking along that day, I was struck by the beautiful soft light coming through the trees as the afternoon drifted to evening.  I could whine for quite awhile about November, and its cold dry air making my skin and hair miserable and my feet cranky in boots when they’d rather be bare.  But just look at that light!  It is a gift to be savored for sure.

For this painting I started out with that light in my mind, and painted the background with wild abandon.  Just color, with a hint of land form.  Then I began adding and subtracting trees until it felt right to me.

I hope, as we roll on into winter, that you are showered in gifts like good health.  And Light.  Lots of light.


25 thoughts on “Shifting Light

  1. Jim in IA says:

    ‘Commissions are in progress…’ Sounds exciting. 🙂

    Hooray, Dec.4 is the earliest sunset of the year. We start to work our way out of that dark spot.

    Sadly, Jan.4 is the latest sunrise. We continue to descend into darkness in the mornings until then.

    About on Dec.22nd-ish we have the sunset-sunrise combo giving us the least amount of daylight. But, hey, I always like to see Dec.4 roll around.

    May light shine upon you and your works.

  2. Steve Gingold says:

    This is beautiful, Melissa. I am picturing you painting with wild abandon. 🙂
    As you might imagine, I love the light you’ve created in this and am sure it is a great representation of what you experienced that day.
    Such good news that more land has been set aside for the future.

  3. melissabluefineart says:

    Thanks Steve! I just went for a brisk walk in the local woods and got to enjoy some more of that afternoon light. Now I’m sitting by my radiator with a hot coffee, but it was worth it. No eagles, though.

  4. marymtf says:

    I’m looking at your lovely painting again and am wondering how you would have added or subtracted trees to it. This is so fascinating, Melissa..
    When I used to hand write I’d be inserting words and sentences all over the place, and making notes in the margins then re-writing or typing. Thank goodness for cut and paste these days. What do you do?

  5. melissabluefineart says:

    Hi Mary,
    When I paint with acrylics I can add layers of paint to achieve a look I am after. Washes of soft color can mute a detail, or obliterate it if need be. A lot of times I will let “ghosts of details past” show a little, as I think this adds visual interest.
    When I paint with oils, I must be way more disciplined! Of course, I am discovering the delightful uses of scraping off, something I thought I’d never resort to but which is, in fact, rather fun.
    Thank you so much for asking 🙂

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