34 x 48 in | 86.4 x 121.9 cm
Trembling Aspens (Populus tremuloides) are one of my favorite subjects, especially during peak fall color in the late afternoon when back lighted. The leaves light up like stained glass windows.
I used a lot of Cadmium Yellow Deep in this painting, a pigment made from a compound of Cadmium and sulfur. It’s an expensive pigment as every artist knows, but well worth it if you want to express a very intense yellow. While I’m on the subject of colors, at first glance all of the trunks of these trees looked alike. In fact, since Trembling Aspen spread by shoots from the tips of their roots, they are probably genetically identical. Fortunately for the artist, genes don’t rule here. Reflections can cause dramatic differences in bark that would look the same in a studio.
This painting contains a little secret. Once someone startled me with this question, “You paint plants so beautifully, why don’t you paint Nature?” Apparently her concept of “Nature” did not include the flora. I’m not surprised. In a typical popular image of Nature a deer family is placed in the middle of the painting with some evergreen trees sprinkled around the deer like garnish to the main dish. In my experience animals reveal themselves in fleeting moments, not in posed photo ops. You don’t see the deer until one cocks an ear or looks up. In this painting there are three deer but they are too small to show up on the monitor. The enlarged picture contains one of the deer. (Unfortunately, the picture is a little blurry because I sold the painting before I was able to take a high resolution picture of it.)
This grove lives in the Wasatch Mountain State Park, in Utah, but similar scenes can be found in most of the Western United States and Western Canada.