I’ve always loved the fragrance of pine needles in the sun. I also love watching them float abstractly on the surface of the pond, the rusty color complementing the reflected blue sky as everything drifts slowly toward the outlet. I’m sure there must be a haiku about floating pine needles, but I don’t know it. So I’ve painted my own version of a visual haiku. My aim was to keep it simple, but intricate enough to earn more than a glance. I hope it captures your attention as it did mine, and offers the same restorative potential. Details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: There were many compositional problems to work out with this subject, but the biggest was how to create dynamic tension in a placid, extremely horizontal subject. The darker tree reflections provided one way to “connect” the top and bottom of the painting, as did the birch trunks. I also used the greenish duckweed as a counterpoint to the rust-colored needles. The sheen on the surface of the water, along with the various blues of the sky reflections and riffles helped to break up the surface and create a sense of space and distance. I repeatedly glazed the panel to enrich the colors, then used slight strokes of more opaque paint to “bring up” some of the needles.