Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Playing With Leaves
When I was little I enjoyed raking leaves into big piles and jumping in. I also loved the smell when we'd burn those piles of leaves out in the orchard, no doubt adding to air pollution and global warming. But what did we know? We thought eating lots of hamburgers built muscles, whole milk gave us strong bones and teeth, flouride was a Communist plot, and a really dark suntan was sexy. In Wisconsin you were only a good citizen if you slathered lots of real butter on your Wonder Bread.
These days I'm not so wild about raking, since sore muscles and blisters aren't my favorite things. At my age, jumping into a pile of leaves wouldn't be such a good idea either. The police would be at my door (and maybe Al Gore) if I tried to burn my maple leaves. But I have been having fun painting. This isn't great art, I know. But the leaves in my neighborhood are beginning to look incandescent, and when the sun decides to come out they almost burn your retinas. I feel called to paint the bright colors. This painting is just a series of layers of watercolor, starting quite light. I took real leaves, traced around them, then added a slightly darker layer. More leaves, and another layer. More leaves, and still a darker layer of color. Sometimes I just need to play with the leaves, even if it's just up in my studio.