It's Fall 6"x8" oil on canvas panel
I had the most delightful comment on Instagram the other day when I posted one of the leaf paintings from the last blogpost. Catherine asked if I knew what kind of leaf I'd painted. She and her grandson are trying to identify trees by their leaves.
Fall is in the Air 6"x8" oil on canvas board
And that took me right back to my childhood. I love trees. They are my favorite part of nature with the possible exception of bodies of water. And when I was a child I had this wonderful little paperback book that you could take into the forest and with a tree branch and its leaves, the book would ask you questions that led you to identify the tree. I used it a lot. And about 10 years ago I discovered the book is still available, for a mere $6 in amazon.
Provencal Tree Study 4"x6" oil on French panel
It's called Tree Finder: A Manual for identification of Trees by Their Leaves, by May Theilgaard Watts (1893 – 1975). May Watts was an American naturalist, writer, poet, illustrator, and educator. She was a naturalist at The Morton Arboretum and author of Reading the Landscape of America (credit wikipedia).
The Tree Finder Books - left uses leaves, right for deciduous trees in winter
This little book is a mystery lover's dream and a school child's game. I hope Catherine and her grandson enjoy it as much I did, and still do. I have a copy of the book and its companion, Tree Finder: A Manual for identifying Deciduous Trees in Winter, in the glove compartment of my car. And I couldn't be more grateful to May watts.
These sketches of trees in winter illustrate the most visited blogpost I ever wrote.
Let me say agin, I adore trees. And winter is the best time to draw them, when the leaves are gone and the structure is visible. If you paint, there's nothing better than getting outside and drawing a few trees. And if you can identify them as well, that's frosting on the cake.