First light was painted plein air and then completed in the studio. On a winding dirt road, aspens grow at the very top of their range. The design was taken in the field and then painted in the studio from this photograph.
The photograph does not reflect the colors in the field.
However the first light of morning is clearly visible in the painting along with the bright fall foliage. At 9,300 feet Bill Williams Mountain near Williams, AZ, these trees are at the top of their range. Note that the trees are severely edited to simplify the composition. Contrast pays a key element in composition.
I loved aspens! When I first moved to Colorado I observed their growth and now they are a favorite subject of mine. First Light comes from the heart. The best time to photograph aspen is when the sun rises, or first light, or during the evening when the light casts gold. During Autumn this light does magical things with the amber tree leaves.
Quaking aspen is a short-lived species: The average life span is 70 to 100 years or about the same as us! Now you can ask what is the largest living organism on Earth? It’s a tree, a Quaking Aspen. That’s right, a single Quaking Aspen in Utah covers 106 acres of land and is estimated to weigh more than 6,000 metric tons. Pando, as it is called, is a clonal colony of a single male quaking aspen; basically, it looks like more trees, but it’s actually just one living creature with one massive underground root system.That is why they form circles and groves.
First Light is a 18 by 24 oil painting on canvas, available on this website. Copies available by contacting the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 970-361-4268.