Today is November 9, 2009.
We had an really nice indian summer day of 65 degrees. I called Heather and she said it was ok for me to go to the fields again today. However, when I arrived at the gate on New England Road it was locked. There was no way I was driving into the orchards so I grabbed my portable easel and bag of paints and walked the half mile up the road to the apple orchard spot I started last week. After setting it up I realized I was painting from a sitting position last week and I forgot to bring my chair. So I painted from a seated position on the ground. It seems the vantage point low to the ground in the orchard gives a more dynamic view.
A good amount of leaves have fallen off the trees. They no longer have fruit on the branches but there seems to be a couple dozen apples rotting on the ground under each apple tree. The apples under these trees are yellow. The shadows from the sun are long and dramatic. As a matter of fact the sun is very low in the sky now that we switched to daylight savings time last week. At noon it seems as though it is well after three; and by three o’clock I usually pack it in because the light and the shadows have all moved significantly from earlier in the day.
I can’t help but think of Monet when I paint outside. He was one of the most famous of the French Impressionists who is known for many great paintings but his cathedral paintings are what I think of when I notice the dramatic shift in light. Monet did a series of around 30 paintings of the Rouen Cathedral. The viewpoints are all basically the same but each one was painted at a different time of day. I was told that he worked on each painting for seven minutes and then switched to a new canvas. That was how quickly he saw a change in light and he wanted to capture that. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to see all of those paintings together in one room. But they are scattered in museums and private collections all over the world.