Before I started painting my hobby was photography. While my kids were small it was an easy way to get in touch with my creative side. Back then we learned on a manual camera with slide film. It was not very forgiving. You didn't want to just keep taking photos in hopes of getting a good one like we can now with digital. You had to plan. You had to anticipate. You also had to be lucky sometimes. I am glad for this lesson in patience. It was also a lesson in learning how to see. I learned how to see the light. These lessons served me well as I transitioned into painting. I was reminded by an important lesson this weekend.
We were on our maiden camping trip with our new camper Joy. (More on this soon) It was a quick weekend trip to test the camper's systems. It was a mostly overcast weekend so when sunset time rolled around we weren't very hopeful. We decided to take a walk....just in case. We were rewarded for our efforts.....almost. We could see a glimmer of fiery light through the trees but we couldn't get close enough. We decided to hop in the car and drive around the bend. We were on a lake with many fingers of land so it was hard to know which way to go.
We drove a few miles and it just got darker. No sunset. Then we rounded the bend and there it was....a fiery sunset up close and personal. We stopped and I took lots of photos and then I remembered the lesson I learned in my photography days and later reinforced by Stan Sperlak in his wonderful workshops.....ALWAYS LOOK BEHIND YOU. Don't forget to turn around and see what is happening behind you. It is often just as spectacular or interesting then what is in front of you. In this case it was. The formally 'brown' tree trunks were glowing orange from the setting sun. It was mesmerizing and it inspired my first painting from our camping adventures.