California Sierra Cottonwood Trail – Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting
20 x 16 oil on canvas
(near Bishop, California)
As the seasons change, I am following along, brush in hand, capturing the colors that nature provides. This scene is from the Owens Valley, in the foothills of the Sierra, not far from the Owens River, which I hear has some great fishing these days. The cottonwoods shimmer in the morning light, their orange leaves making a nice complement to the deep blue sky.
I’m going to guess that this is a Fremont Cottonwood (populus fremontii) which is common in lowlands, close to streams. I’ve heard that you can take a twig and stick it into moist ground and it will quickly root. Maybe that’s why you see so many cottonwoods used as windbreaks out in rural pastures. You can just imagine the farmers sticking branches in the ground at reasonable intervals. These were wild ones, however … they didn’t look as though they had been planted in any careful way.
If you notice some other cottonwoods on the right (to the rear) that are still green, that is very typical of the foliage this year. You’ll see trees fully turned growing next to others of the same species that are still wearing their summer look. Wind and weather create some interesting effects, as you’ll see in some of the other paintings I’ll post in the future.