It was a picture-perfect autumn day when several members of the Art League Plein Air Painters went to Green Spring Gardens Park in Alexandria, VA. It had been a busy, exciting week, and I was tired. I walked around, taking numerous pictures of last roses, trees with their fall colors, etc. But I couldn't settle on any particular view to paint. So I continued walking down the trail in the woods until I came across the above scene. This was it! Except that I had left my painting gear back on the main lawn. The thought of having to go back to fetch the stuff, drag it down by the brook, set up the gear, and actually paint the scene tired me out even more.
Among my artist friends I am known for my workaholic (or shall I say, artaholic) habit of painting fast and furiously every day. Not that day. I decided to give myself a break. Gasp! I sat by my teacher and friend, Bobbi Pratte, and watched her paint an overgrown garden. We kept company, got to know each other better, and had a great time. It's sometimes good to kick back and relax.
I painted "Autumn Brook" from the photo yesterday. The background trees with their fall colors are brilliantly backlit. Tree shadows caress the foreground and middle ground forest floors. And there it is--a tiny waterfall in the center of the painting. It was a glorious day to take a walk in the woods.