Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Visit To Monticello

Autumn in Virginia is absolutely lovely; something I missed when we moved to Texas so many years ago from Michigan. The colors of the trees, on our drive to Monticello from my daughter's apartment in Richmond, made us ooh and ahhh the entire trip. And, once we got there, we knew we'd come at just the right time. The maples blazed, the sycamores were ruby red, any number of trees held golden to bright yellow leaves. Everywhere we turned, on our walk of the grounds at Monticello, there were purple mountains as a backdrop and muted to brilliant foliage as our eyes moved across the landscape and our cameras clicked away. This particular tree was in Jefferson's "back yard" and grabbed me from every angle. I particularly love the gnarly trunk and the low sweeping branches. The sun shown golden on the fallen leaves all around it, which makes this enormously warm and inviting to me. Let me explain the funny shapes of blue on the canvas. I really hate "sky holes" and try to avoid them whenever possible. Instead, I prefer to paint in the sky and later bring in the tiny branches and bits of leaves so that the sky is then peeking through instead of what I perceive as lying on top of the painting when the "sky holes" are painted in. I think you get a lacier, lighter effect this way. And so it looks a bit awkward at the moment, because I did the sky with a painting knife, which means thicker paint that I couldn't paint into without making a mess. I'm not an a la prima type painter, so it's what I'll get to today or tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the colors!

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