24 x 20.3 in | 61 x 51.4 cm
As my brother and I returned from a walk in a swampy wood, we were surrounded by the gray trunks of swamp maple trees. When the sky grew more overcast and the sun fell even lower, the maples took on a blue-gray cast. I was engrossed in our conversation and trying to keep from getting a boot full of water.
Small differences in the land can have dramatic consequences for the trees. As we walked up a small rise the scenery changed dramatically. Here the land was dry enough for beeches and white pines. The sun suddenly appeared as if to recognize the special moment. Warm rays streaked across the knoll at a low angle hitting newly fallen leaves not yet flattened by rain. The entire knoll sparkled with color. Later, it occurred to me that two other features had added to the drama. Beech trees are so shade tolerant that they don’t lose their lower branches as maples do and Beeches are among the last trees to lose their leaves in the fall.
To my eye, the gray-blue of the maple trunks provided an excellent contrast to the subject of this painting—the warm, rusty hues of the Beech leaves. I enjoyed the way that the branches of Beeches grow in flat whorls. The trees appeared to be twirling multicolored silk scarves to celebrate finding this little island of dry ground.
Red Maples (Acer rubrum) and American Beech trees (Fagus grandifolia) can be found in every state and province east of the Mississippi. This particular Beech grove lives in Eastern Massachusetts.