"Backyard Apple Tree" (8x10)
At the end of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy exclaims to Glinda the Good Witch; "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't go any further than my own backyard..." Well, I can't tell you how many times I have wasted driving around in search of that perfect landscape, only to fall into the trap of telling my self there's a better spot just around the next bend... Of course it never materializes, and you end up chasing rainbow's until the sun goes down.
This year summer arrived extremely late, and for a very short time. It probably wouldn't have phased anyone had a tornado touched down in the middle of July with all the gray skies we had. Still, I remained optimistic and kept my painting gear by the door. One afternoon as the day began to wane and I was feeling that twinge of anxiety wondering if there was enough time and where would I go and was it worth it blah, blah, blah, something caught my eye -- it was our apple tree...
We've lived here for nine years now, but I've only painted here all of three times; once it was a beautiful wisteria in full bloom (just before we yanked it to add on a bathroom). Another time it was the plum tree, but never the apple tree. I guess like most things we take for granted, unless we stop to really notice, we miss the wonder and awe of it's beauty (if I only had a brain). This day, the apple tree was glowing and had already dropped a few early "greens" which seemed to only accentuate a nice compositional pattern of cast shadows on the ground. I thought to myself, "no reason to pack the car -- just set up right here and make something work"...and I think it did.
A famous landscape painter once told me "Beauty is all around us -- you just have to look for it"... So next time I get the big idea to hit the road in search of the perfect muse, I might just take a deep breath, click my heels and say...(well, you know the line...)