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9/07/2016

Autumn Planning and Big Trees

Taking a scroll down the Wikiart.org path I try to focus on America artists. I found Thomas Moran, 1837 - 1926, listed there, but he's born in Bolton, England. Nationality, therefore, appears to be where the major part of one's work is done. The boundary matters not for an ocean or a pan swished with watercolor. His landscapes are spectacular, haunting in the way some of them show scale. At this time of year, I search mainly for painting of autumn as a way of priming creativity, especially where color is concerned. Moran doesn't disappoint as his use of fall color is as grand as in Nature. Moran's complete works
"Cresheim Glen, Wissahickon, Autumn" 1864, Thomas Moran

Wissahickon Creek is in Pennsylvania. Moran lived in Philadelphia as an apprentice wood engraver. I chose the painting in the photograph because of the old large tree. My heart flips over a big tree.  American Forests.org has a registry of such magnificent trees for the National Big Tree Program. You can use the search feature to look up the species, but not the state.  Check out the page for the instructions on how to identify a champion tree including eligible species.

Searching the list on that website shows no sugar maples, the state tree, listed for Vermont. However, the website has a list of State Coordinators. Click on your state to find what trees are registered.  The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation maintains the Big Tree website for Vermont. The search features there are easy to navigate. The Vermont big tree page has illustrated instructions on how to measure a big tree. You might also find cities, towns or counties listing their big tree inventory. This autumn while scouting out landscapes, note big trees you might find and check to see if they are registered locally as well as nationally. And for best...paint that landscape.

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