Monday, November 21, 2011

Using Color Notes

Notes From my Tree Journal

In the fall now it is staying light until about 6:15, so the light is fantastic from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.

I love to soak it up looking at the fields on fire with light, the red in the swamp maples and in the tops of the pines. The sky is too hard to believe on some days with dark blue clouds rimmed in impossibly orange light. Let's face it. God is a much better painter than I am.

All the way home down the rural roads I gawk at the landscape in the late afternoon light. So, you think, what good does that do?

When I get home I get out my note pad and my color pencils/markers and I make color notes for future charting. While the memory is fresh, I write down most of the color I saw, the time of day, the places on trees where I was most likely to find the unusual effects of light and the sky shapes, colors and formations. I clip my written notes to my color notes above and store them. Because I have learned the art of observation, after having spent much of my time painting in the field and observing, I am able to close my eyes and remember most of what I saw, hours later. These little color notes are a bit of information that prompts my memory later, when I might need them.

One of these days, I'll be doing a painting and those notes and color charts will come in handy. Not to mention that this kind of research is just plain fun to do.

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