30" x 24"
Plevna, Southern Ontario, Canada
Red Maples (Acer rubrum) are commonly known as “swamp maples” because of their ability to grow in very wet conditions. Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum) require dryer ground, which usually means higher ground. The difference in the preferred habitat between these two species resulted in a striking composition. In the foreground Sugar Maples showed their brilliant spectrum of fall colors, from yellow through orange.
A short distance into the woods, the land sloped down into a wetland, which was thick with Red Maples. These red maples were almost bare of leaves, showing their silvery gray bark and branches. The sprinkling of their remaining leaves are fire red. Together the silver gray trunks and red leaves produce a contrasting curtain against which to accentuate the warm colors of the sugar maples.
Another artistic challenge is creating a perception of depth. The large variety of colors and shapes in this composition could result in a painting that looks like wall paper. The effect of depth is partly due to our binocular vision. The highly textured surface resulting from the knife painting technique adds to the illusion of three dimensionality by forcing each of the viewer’s eyes to see a slightly different view of the surface. I attempted to enhance the three dimensional effect by use of the well known devices such as fading and blurring the background, occlusion of the distant trees by the nearer trees, and shifting of the colors of the distant trees toward the blue end of the spectrum.