I just got back from a trip to the north eastern United States to visit family. We decided to go in October so that we could get home to Alaska before winter set in too hard and so that we could catch some of the nice fall weather there. One of the places we went was my grandparents' cabin on a pond near Rangeley, Maine. This has always been a very special place to me.
My grandmother was a watercolor artist and the first person who taught me how to paint. When we were old enough to hold a paintbrush, my siblings and I got to accompany her in her studio (or outside if the weather was nice so that we made less of a mess). We learned about mixing colors, how to make washes, and what cool things we could do with water and paint. Drips and splatters were allowed and encouraged. When I was in 4th grade I decided I wanted to try oil painting so I asked my grandmother to teach me. The first painting I did was the landscape pictured above, looking out at the pond from their cabin.
When we went back this fall it was nice to sit at the dining room table looking through the glass sliding doors out at the pond. I had to do a small mental summersault to treat it like any other landscape, and to just sit and paint it; otherwise I would get lost in all of the emotional weight. However I did remember drawing certain rocks and trees before and some of the tips that my grandmother had taught me to capture them on paper.