Since Kansas I've been in withdrawals but have also been out either painting or photographing our own magnificent fall color. The last couple of years I've been out of the area, San Miguel de Allende and Cape Cod, each fall during the peak of the color. I don't realize what that means until winter sets in and I'm anxious to revisit Fall in the studio and am at a loss because I didn't do my homework in either paint or pics or both! It is here and gone so fast that there's always a little conflict between painting two or three paintings or painting a taste of it and then taking several hundred photos. If I had my wish, I'd never step inside with a paintbrush again... everything would be painted outside on location. But we all know the things that step inbetween wishes and reality when it comes to outdoor painting.
Like this past week... I painted the painting below "Lake View" and it was as perfectly calm and gorgeous as you can imagine a Fall day to be. That was it, that day was the one. Good thing that I painted two paintings that day... that painting and "Oak Grove"... because the following three days came with quite a wind. Gusts up to 45 mph one of those days did a number on all of the leaves that had changed over and they're down now. The beauty is still out there to be savored, but there is something about walking into the maple forest at peak and being enveloped by the veil of golden light that cannot be photographed no matter how hard you try.
Ending this, I'm happy that I was here during the peak this year. I have enough inspiration stored within me and on my flashcard to last most of the winter. I hope that you were all able to make it out into the beautiful fall that seems to be surrounding most of the country this year too.
'Lake View' - oil - 11x14 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
I was lucky to be invited to paint on the property of some friends who live on a lake with a beautiful woodland not far from me. Everything was perfect this day, the light, the wind, and the temps. Not to mention that the Fall leaves were at peak and still all affixed to the branches! What a treat to be able to be outside at times like this it is.
'Oak Grove' - oil - 8x10 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
In the afternoon, following a lot of photographing in Wisconsin in the Interstate Park, I wandered back over into my neighborhood. There is an oak savannah near me that captures my eye every single time that I drive past it. It's on a corner of two intersecting roads that I turn onto every single time I leave town to drive south or west of here. This day the oaks were alive with color and I finally had to stop and try to grab it. I also want to paint this in winter, and will. The problem is that this is a large area of large oaks and some maples and putting that on an 8"x10" canvas hardly begins to make the statement about the impact that this location has on me visually. I hesitate to say how big the canvas for this location should be...
"Arcola Fading Greens" - oil - 12x12 ©2011 Marc R. Hanson
We're lucky that one of the nicest pieces of property on the St Croix River is now open to the public for one month. This is not the case normally although many of us from the area have been able to paint it some in the past. The Minnesota State Park System is manning it with rangers and volunteers until October 30th from 9am-5pm. The turn out has been enormous from what they were telling me this morning. It would be incredible if this property became open on a regular basis. It's very special and provides a different view of the river than is available elsewhere. The color is not as advanced down in the river valley as it is along the hillsides. I guess the warmth of the water keeps things slightly delayed, and many of the trees are soft maples and they don't turn to the brilliant golds and reds of their hillside cousins the sugar and red maples. It was still a very nice morning until the sun faded away, and I met some nice folks who were there for the programs that the park provide to the public. I'll be back.