In the same vein as my crab apples, here's a 10.5"x13.5" watercolor of some mushrooms I found growing next to a tree stump in our yard. They were hidden under some leaves, which I cleared away just a bit. This revealed all kinds of sticks and other dark plant material that was in the process of becoming our state's beautiful black topsoil. (I've known international students who have been astounded by how black our dirt is here, including one who cutely took photos of it.)
Speaking of students, when I was a high school art teacher, kids always wanted to draw, paint, and sculpt mushrooms. I assumed that most of these kids were druggies and encouraged them to become inspired by, I don't know, one of the trillion other subjects available to them on this planet. "But I don't know what else to draw! And I just really like mushrooms!" I'm sure you do.
Also they're way too easy. Come on.
Gee, what are you going to make next? An ashtray? An incense burner? A cylinder with an odd little tube coming out the side?
So anyway, a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to paint some mushrooms!
And what a lot of work this was. I got obsessed with every square inch of it. That colorful leaf near the top took two days to finish and was challenging to say the least. Painting the mushrooms made me happy. The little ridges look difficult but they're actually pretty satisfying to create. There are so many tiny things going on here, and they're the kinds of details you never notice, like what's happening in the gaps between the leaves and the little fly (can you find it?). I tried to do them justice, but that meant mixing tiny amounts of hundreds of different colors, I'm guessing.
I posted this painting on Facebook when I finished it last week, and a few people thought I was making up some of the colors, especially the ones on the bright leaf. Those people don't live in Illinois. Most of my Illinois pals agreed that this year the foliage was just this colorful. Lurid, even! I showed Jeff's daughter Melissa my reference photo last night, and she said I should put it on my blog.
So while I pumped up the colors somewhat, in real life that leaf was still pretty loud. :)
I'm really pleased with the way this turned out, and I'll have a few more fall paintings to add to this series.