Sometimes I find that the best way to find a good subject to paint in the woods is to walk off the trail a few hundred feet and just stop and sit down. Trying to find the perfect scene seldom works for me. There is always something interesting to paint if I take the time to slow down and really look at what is around me in the forest.
On a recent hike to Mt. Seymour near Deep Cove, BC. I was looking for a stream to paint that would be cascading down through the woods. Normally this would be easy enough to find as there are dozens of streams in this area, but it has been a dry summer and so I wasn’t finding what I was looking for. Ok; time for plan “B”.
Plan “B” in this situation for me is to just walk off the trail, sit down and start painting. It sounds ridiculous but it works. Finding subject matter to paint can be really difficult if you over think it. The water colour study I did that day I also made into a studio version. I do this just to explore my visual ideas with out time restraints and mosquitos. The painting below is the field study.