I am very much a creature of habit. Once I find a place I like, whether it be a coffee shop, a pub, a neighborhood with interesting old houses to admire from the sidewalk, or a park to walk the dogs in, I keep going back. I especially love parks with lots of trees. My favorite place to walk the dogs in Edmonton was the Terwillegar dog park. There were so many different trails to wander in and easy access to the river for the dogs to cool off in on warmer days. When I wanted a break from the bustle of Edmonton, it was my go-to spot. If I wanted to feel like I was in the middle of nowhere, but didn't have the time to actually venture to the middle of nowhere, it was the next best thing. I was flipping through some of my sketch journals a few weeks ago, looking for photos of winter scenes to paint, and I came across a photo I took of the branch teepee that someone constructed in a small stand of trees in the dog park. If you got down on hands and knees you could crouch inside, or if you were a kid or a dog, you could easily get inside the little structure, though in summer I am sure it would be very fragrant to say the least. Still, it was a neat thing to walk by on our daily jaunt. I was glad to finally put it to canvas.
Then while flipping through the current sketchbook that I am filling up (one that I nearly lost in Toronto in December, but my aunt insisted on contacting the Art Gallery of Ontario where I figured I had left it in the coat check area. It was found by one of the attendants who looked through it, but I foolishly hadn't put my name in it yet so they had no idea who to contact about it. Whoops!!), I came across a nice little instax photo of the stand of pinkish birch we came across during our stay on High Lake in Manitoba last autumn. I'd already sketched it in oil, so I thought I'd revisit it in acrylic.
Perhaps it's the meandering lines of the branches or the way that light seeps between the trees at certain times of day that makes painting pictures of forests so enjoyable. I'm not totally sure but I don't see the point in analyzing the shit out of the 'why'. I'd rather just paint.
Happy belated New Year to you.