I started this painting when the ginkgo trees turned gold. I wanted a simple celebration of yellow leaves and I painted the whole canvas different shades of yellow, then squirted the paint with water to get a kind of feathered textured. I planned to paint in the leaves on top of that, just a rain of ginkgoes and a few maple leaves. I planned a relatively precise representation of the leaves, but the feathery texture I imagined didn’t happen, all the yellows leveled out into each other.
Then I started sketching a woman in the right corner. Precision flew away and everything went intuitive. I followed no particular plan, but I worked with the colors and autumn and ideas about aging.
Leaves have the colors that we see in the fall all summer long, but green is dominant, because the leaves are making chlorophyll. When the days begin to get shorter, they stop making chlorophyll and the green recedes, and the colors of other elements are revealed.
This thought kept me company as I worked on this painting – and all the color and pain and history we carry with us as we age.
What do you think?
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