This piece was started by needle felting wool roving on cotton. I then sewed various free motion shapes on water soluble stabilizer and once the stabilizer was dissolved out I sewed them on over the felt.
The subject was inspired by a tree I saw while driving to my cottage.
I walked my usual route but in the opposite direction and it looked very different.
This crab apple tree is located between 2 large pine trees in my front yard in Ottawa. This year it was visited by a Pileated Woodpecker who worked on a couple of the branches. One of the branches came down in the last wind storm. Every year I expect it to die but it’s still surviving. I have painted it in bloom and in the fall and decided this time to concentrate on the bark.
This watercolour was done from a photograph taken several years ago on a trip to Costa Rica. I’ve had the photograph in my file to paint for quite a while but couldn’t figure out exactly how to do it. That was when I was copying the photographs more or less exactly. Now that I’m taking a looser more interpretive approach I found it a little easier.
I started this watercolour with a wet in wet under painting having no idea where I was going to go with it. I then searched through my photographs looking for some ideas that would fit. I chose a photo taken from the window of my motel room on the way back from my trip to Nova Scotia. It was October and the colours of the trees were brilliant.
I had taken the picture when I arrived. The next day was dark and I encountered heavy rain from Montmagny (east of Quebec City) through to Montreal. Until then I had only encountered one rain shower which occurred on the second day of my trip so I was very lucky.
I’ve been trying to not copy everything I see especially when I work from photographs. In this painting I started with a loose wet in wet wash then added the details. It has the same “feel” as the photograph and what I remember of the scene but it’s definitely not a copy.
Some of the trees have lost most of their leaves but the poplars still have some green leaves among the yellow. I chose to do a sketch of some birches beside my driveway. They have lost virtually all their leaves. I used coloured pencils for the birch tree trunks and watercolours for the rest . The yellow and green on the right side are from the poplars that are outside the picture.
I recently drove to Nova Scotia to visit friends. I took my time and my sketchbook.
The trees were just beginning to turn in Quebec at the end of September when I stopped at a rest stop along the Saint Lawrence River in Village-des-Aulnaies.
The previous day was very hot but this day it was cold and threatening rain. I had just blocked in the church in pencil when it started to rain. I added the watercolour after I got home.
In Calabogie the pine needles have fallen but most of the leaves are still on the trees. I took a break from raking to do a quick watercolour sketch of the trees beside my driveway.
There is still some trees that haven’t turned yet.