24" x 28"
Matawatchan, Ontario, Canada
The dramatic difference between colors in the sun versus the shade has always impressed me. This contrast is exquisite in the fall colors of Northern forests. Yellows and oranges seem to blossom in the sun while the cooler tones benefit from some shade.
Sugar maples provide most of the yellow and orange hues, red maples the brilliant reds, and birches the lemon yellows. White Ash, sprinkled in the distance, account for the deep maroon. The evergreens are pines and spruce.
A peculiarity of large trees in fall is that they do not turn a uniform color, a feature I tried to capture in this painting. In addition to wide variations in individual leaves, the inner leaves as a whole are often different from the leaves closer to the ends of the branches giving the trees the appearance of being painted with two coats, one to the whole tree and one to the tips of the branches. I can understand how the Jack Frost story emerged. The inner leaves are often lighter. The sugar maples seem dipped in butter yellow and then tipped with orange while the ashes are dipped in pale yellow and tipped with maroon.
Young forests such as this, reclaimed from abandoned farmland, grow throughout Southeastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. This particular area is in Matawatchan, in Ontario. (For those not familiar with the local English names of these trees, the botanical names are: Sugar Maple (Acer saccarum), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Paper Birch (Betula paperifera), White Ash (Fraxinus americana), White Pine (Pinus strobes), and White Spruce (Picea glauca).