That “blue time of day”…a quick walk in the woods after a heavy snowfall as the sun set on the distant horizon, bare trees like sentinels. This time of day always carries a certain melancholy for me, as if a deep instinctive part of me realizes the sun is about to leave and may not come back. The moment stands in all its silent beauty along Robinson Run in Collier Township, on a trail running parallel to the Panhandle Trail.
Every once in a while I do a painting that comes straight from the heart. I wandered onto this scene one Sunday evening after a quick, heavy snowfall with only my camera. I photographed it, intending to come back to do a painting–difficult as that would be at this time of day when the light changes so quickly. But by noon the next day the snow had melted significantly, and then I waited for similar conditions for two years with no significant snowfall around the right time, about 5:00 p.m. in mid January, or early December as the time of day and light would be about the same.
I couldn’t wait any longer and began with my photos and ended with my vision, this painting, Dusk in the Woods. You can also visit this work and other related works on my website in Landscapes or Art of the Watershed.
And there is a cat connection with this painting. My precious Moses was nearing her end as I worked on it, me all through the night at my easel, her at my feet, every day losing a little more physical control as, at 19, her body just began giving out. I needed a project as big as this to bear the process of her loss, and in turn my strength and calm as I worked helped Moses. I will always connect this painting with her, and those late nights when I disappeared into this scene in order to paint it from memory.
In addition, I will always be happy that the original was purchased by the couple who helped to conserve this very spot along the Panhandle Trail, and, in fact, live above it at the top of the hill.
I sell this image as a 5″ x 7″ greeting card, and I also have a range of prints both framed and unframed, from inexpensive digital prints beginning at 8″ x 10″ all the way up to the highest quality giclee prints at the full size of the painting, 31″ x 24″. I also carry it in a woven cotton blanket, mentioned earlier in this blog–in fact, this painting inspired me to have those blankets made in the first place!