Musquash Woods

         oil on canvas 20 x 24 in.                                                                         

I've just completed a commission from reference photos, taken for my Shore Birch painting, on our hike along the Butler Beach trail near Musquash, New Brunswick in 2013. It is wonderful to have a large canvas for this painting - large enough to be able to make the curls and shreds of Birch bark crisp and smooth, and to even show the little horizontal lenticel marks.
Forest interiors are my favourite subjects, along with rocks with lichens & mosses, waterfalls... and of course, ancient trees. I felt as if I were living in this seaside forest while doing the painting (it might have had something to do with the size of the canvas). I chose the underpainting colour of medium-toned greyish purple, to support a sense of depth and distance through the forest.

Fred's field notes from this place are as follows: 30 June 2013 - Canada: New Brunswick: Saint John County: Butler Beach Trail, 6.8 km E Musquash. AIR TEMP: 13°C, foggy, drizzle, breezy. HABITAT: Young mixed seaside forest. 2013/119/e, Betula cordifolia (Mountain Paper Birch) (Plant). 1/common tree, specimen, photo. WAYPT/195, ca 20 cm DBH tree with draping bark. . . . forked just above breast-height, with Usnea and other lichens. Bark with moss & lichen sample taken, AKS photo. A bit N of here, Marigold the Dog chased a Red Squirrel Tamiascurus hudsonicus through the woods.



  1. Hello Aleta, once again, you have transported me to the location of your painting. WOW! It so realistic-looking; it's as if I'm standing there before that tree!


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