16" x 24"
Painting from photographs usually requires many photos to provide enough information from which to create a successful composition. But for this painting I had taken only a single photo. I took it while stepping across a little stream, balancing on some rocks, with my camera in hand. Mid stream The view hit me emotionally. But I was focused on getting across safely rather than focusing on the best shot. I paused for a second, raised my camera and “click”. That was all.
When I returned home I put the photo in my collection and forgot about it for years. Recently, when I was looking through my slide collection, I ran across the photo again. I was astounded that after all of those years it triggered the same response, “what a little jewel.” It’s perfect.
So I made a painting from the photo. Of course, a painting is not a copy of a photo. I made some changes. I took a few leaves off the lower branch so that the viewer could clearly see the opposite shore and a few other minor changes to adjust the balance.
Everyone who has seen this painting is charmed by it. They often use the same phrase, "a little jewel" or its equivalent. What makes such a simple composition attractive? Could it be the recent rain shower that did me the favor of turning the trunk of the maple (Acer saccharum) deep brown, providing a rich contrast with the brilliant leaves? Or the leaves on the ground which provided a warm glow becoming lighter as it moves higher up on the painting, perhaps inviting you in to the scene?