From a Puddle in the Woods

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods 36x44 oil on panel

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods 36×44 oil on panel

From a Puddle in the Woods is based on a summer walk after rain. The sun is trying to come out, the air is full of moisture and smells, and the path I usually take to the pond is now an extended puddle filled with reflections of the surrounding trees and nearby ferns. A light dusting of pollen filters this view, blurring the edge between here and there, and between what I remember and what I actually saw.

Technical painting notes: The abstract, decorative quality of the layered foliage reflections provided many challenges. I started with a dark, textural base of rolled color (burnt sienna, thalo green, burnt umber) which I scraped into, spritzed with mineral spirits, and “interrupted” in various ways. The goal was as much texture as possible while not getting too dark. When dry, I applied a few layers of glaze, then started defining the image by painting the negative sky shapes. The next layer defined the darker foliage and introduced the mid-value greens (using Liquin medium to keep the colors thin and transparent). Soft translucent grays, interwoven with more details, brought both focus and a rainy “blur” to the painting. Spattering suggested pollen and echoed the original droplet effects of the spritzed mineral spitits in the first layer. A fine spattering of pale blue grays suggests the sheen on the water from sky reflected on the wet pollen. Linear grasses were defined with golden and reddish tones to introduce more color. Details below.

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods - detail with reflected trees, ferns pollen

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods – detail with reflected trees, ferns pollen

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods - detail from upper left corner

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods – detail from upper left corner

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods - detail from lower right of center wit reflected trees, ferns, stems, and pollen

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods – detail from lower right of center wit reflected trees, ferns, stems, and pollen

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods - detail from lower left with reflected trees, grasses, pollen, floating leaves

TM8524 From a Puddle in the Woods – detail from lower left with reflected trees, grasses, pollen, floating leaves

 

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