Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wallsburg Willows

12" x 16" Oil on Panel
A week or so ago I drove up to the little mountain town of Wallsburg. Wallsburg is a side trip off of the main route through the mountains. It's an agricultural town in a valley along the Wasatch Back. There are no convenience stores. No gas stations. Just ranches and homes. The road into town leads only to town. It goes nowhere else, unless you want to drive off the pavement and take dirt trails up into the mountains.

I rarely go to Wallsburg. Usually I feel an urge to continue on up to Midway, passing the turnoff to Wallsburg without a second glance. I've only painted once before in that little mountain town. In the last week or so, however, I've spent more time exploring the town and it's surrounding valley. There's a lot to paint there.

About a week and a half ago I drove into the valley to paint. Most of the day was spent driving around; exploring. Aspen trees on the mountainsides had already been stripped of their fall foliage, but willows along the valley bottom were in peak color. There was time for one little landscape study. I found a place where late afternoon sun had cast the east-facing mountain slopes in shadow, but sunlight brightly illuminated stands of willow farther away from those slopes. The contrast was stunning! Here's the little painting I made that day:

6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel
As I painted, a sizable flock of wild turkeys foraged in the field in front of me. At one point a few elk moved through the far end of the field, partially shielded from view by the trees and brush shown in the painting. Later in the  day deer ventured out in twos and threes to browse in the open fields. It was such a wonderful afternoon, and I was happy with the little painting. A couple days later I returned to the same place to experience it again. That time I made the larger painting shown at the top of this post.


Cathy said...

You have really captured the essence of autumn in these paintings. Beautiful!!

James Gunter said...

Thank you, Cathy!