Daily Archives: October 14, 2014

Bramble Wood

IMG_9794.JPGBramble Wood, 2014 – Michaela Harlow – Pastel on Coldpress, Deckle-Edge Paper, 20″ x 16″

Autumn is so much more conducive to long woodland walks. Free from heat, humidity, the annoying whine of mosquitoes and incessant buzz of deer flies, I can finally bring a sketch book with me on hikes and actually be comfortable enough to use it. My drawings are often far more realistic —sometimes hyper or photorealistic— but when I introduce color, they usually become more abstract. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy sketching and painting en plein air.

Sometimes my best observations come after standing or sitting in one spot for a long time. When I’m still, I pick up on colors, shapes and shadows I might have missed if I were running or even walking through the forest. Two of my favorite woodland things in fall: the dusty-violet hue of autumn blackberry bramble and the patterns formed by rusty-orange pine needles and debris floating on water.

This piece was completed in the studio, but I’ll be sharing a few location sketches here and there, in the not-too-distant future.

IMG_9801.JPG Bramble Wood detail: back in my studio, working pastel with palette knife. Thank you to my friend & collector, Emma for the unexpected & delightful gift of this beautiful green agate & brass ring. Mesmerizing as a forest pool.


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