For the past month I have been taking advantage of the fact that we live within walking distance to the beautiful Robert H. Treman State Park. When I am up for a two and one half mile walk I leave the car at home. The distance isn’t the problem, but the return trek up the hill can be. Bella, my dog, is pleased to accompany me either way, with or without the car. Since she has recently been diagnosed with very bad hips, the exercise is actually good for her. It certainly is good for me, also.
On one such walk in the park I brought my camera and attempted to multi-task by taking photos and also walking Bella. This proved to be more difficult than expected. Bella would dutifully stop when I did, but would begin moving at almost the exact moment I needed to focus and shoot. I returned without Bella the following day and got many good (and focused) photos of the autumn colors in the park. On another walk I collected leaves for inspiration, as it had been a while since I did anything remotely creative.
Today, our early morning walk was postponed due to unpredictable weather. Instead, I began a collage by first sketching from one of my photographs. The leaves were then adhered to the paper with matte medium and once dry some magazine textures were added to create trees and fill in gaps between the actual leaves. Next, acrylic paint washes and details were applied to give some continuity to this mixed media collage. This piece allowed me to be less careful than I am with watercolor and actually enjoy a more spontaneous painting experience. The colors are a bit exaggerated, but the general feeling of this park area still remains.
The sun is now shining and it is probably safe to head out for our daily exercise. Bella is napping, and I must say that looks like an equally attractive option.