Colors flood the landscape. Yellows, oranges, reds. The blue skies and waters. Green still adds contrasts, purple shadows fill in the darks. As a naturalist, those colors mean fall is here. There is no going back to summer, no matter how warm the reports are. As an artist, the colors fill my senses. The gentle shifts from green to yellow, the sudden bursts of orange maple leaves. As I soak in the colors, trying to fill up my soul before winter comes, I wonder many things. The one thing that lingers is the the thought that everyone sees things differently.
Like most people, looking out a beautiful landscape, I assume that anyone else there with me will experience it the same way. I know that isn't true. Everyone notices things in a unique way. Favorite colors, life experiences, they all color your world.
When painting colors in landscapes, you need to get past the surface. You need to see shadows, not as dark, but as pools of reflections. The sky isn't blue, the leaves are not green, or orange, or any one color. You play with contrasting colors to find emphasis, or depth, or just subtle ideas.
As the wind moves across the grasses it creates movement that cannot be captured by painting every blade of grass. Clouds form and dissolve again, part of the sky. Plants grow, change, twist to follow the sun, and slowly die away, once again part of the soil. Fungi pop up and in a few days they have disappeared, no sign they were ever there.
What to include or not in a landscape is as fickle a choice as the nature it seeks to emulate. There is no right way. There is no "this is the way it is". At some point you just need to allow yourself to become part of the landscape and allow that to become what flows onto the canvas or paper.
It is then that the hours spent immersing yourself in just being there pay off, if there is such a thing. Colors are not so important, shapes blend and change, feelings of what it was like come into play. Fall changes like the colors on an artists palette, wind pushes water into shapes never seen before.
Nature changes, people change, times change. Go out and enjoy the changes...