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|The scene captured in the painting|
Speaking of bringing life back to an old painting, please have a look at what I did to "Autumn C & O Canal". I painted it at the end of last October along the C & O Canal at a place called Wide Water, just north of Washington, DC. It was a chilly day, so my fingers and feet got numb within an hour into the painting. But the light could not have been better.
Then why does the untouched plein-air painting look wish washy? This is what happened. When I started the painting, the sun shined on us brightly (there were about ten of us that day), as you can see in the above photo. The shadows on the embankment were strong, the reflections of the fall foliage in the murky canal water were absolutely breath-taking.
Then the sun started playing peekaboo with us; clouds rolled in; it became completely overcast by the mid-afternoon. In other words, the painting was a victim of the typical hazard in plein-air painting. I got confused, couldn't recall exactly the brilliant, bouncing colors that used to be there.
Using the photo as a guide, I brought back the light to "Autumn C & O Canal." I may have exaggerated colors a bit, but I like the improved state a lot. What do you say?