The Russet Afternoons

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons 36x40 oil on panel

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons 36×40 oil on panel

One of autumn’s afternoons, and I’m looking into the pond’s mirror of the surrounding woods. Hardly a breath is stirring; all sound is hushed. Am I lucky or blessed? Or both? I know I’m grateful. Details below. Enjoy.

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons - detail from right side showing layers and use of scraping into wet paint in tree trunk reflections

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons – detail from right side showing layers and use of scraping into wet paint in tree trunk reflections

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons - detail from above center with reflections and floating leaves

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons – detail from above center with reflections and floating leaves

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons - detail from top center

TM8885 The Russet Afternoons – detail from top center

Technical painting notes: As usual, I had an idea when I started this painting, which is based on a photo I took at my pond in November. The dark green shape near the center of the composition, surrounded by shades of red, caught my interest, and the contrast between the vertical reflections and horizontally drifting leaves set up a certain tension I wanted to explore. Originally, I was going to paint a considerable amount of reflected sky along the left edge. However, when I started to block it in, I realized I didn’t want to hide the rich textures and colors achieved in the base layer. So I changed course, and the painting’s focus became all the russet foliage and reflections. Instead of sky, the nearly crystalline reflections of the woodland dominate.

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