copyright Hannah Phelps
8" x 6", oil on canvas
The wind has blown the leaves off the trees early this year, but there are still places where the colors are knockout bright. Outside my studio window I can see a neon pink that I hardly believe is natural.
All this color is lovely to look at, but really tough to paint well. One painter I know said, “You have to be careful with the changing leaves if you don’t want your painting to look like a bowl of Trix cereal.”
Of course, anything challenging is worth a try in my book, so I do usually paint a few fall scenes each year. Often, I tone down the outrageous orange and red. Sometimes, I just paint the crazy colors I see. Most of the latter end up as “studies” and don’t leave the studio again, since they end up looking like, well, a bowl of Trix cereal. I am still happy to paint them.
After all, this brilliance won’t last long. When all of New England is grey and brown after the leaves are gone but before the snow comes, we will all be missing this dramatic show!