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Painting the Autumn Leaves

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I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors this fall, painting the autumn leaves and using lots of color!

My first autumn painting of the year took me back to my East Coast childhood summers. This is a commissioned painting of the Celtic Colours music festival held each October in Nova Scotia, north of my family’s home in Deer Isle, Maine.

Celtic Colours at the BroadwaterCeltic Colours at the Broadwater, ©2018

Closer to home, I was honored to receive Purchase Awards for two of my Oregon plein air paintings. These works are now included in the permanent public collections of two local cities. “Licious Apples at Beaverton Farmers Market” was painted during the Beaverton Arts Mix Quick-Draw event, and purchased by the City of Beaverton. This painting also received the People’s Choice Quick-Draw Award!

Licious Apples at Beaverton Farmers MarketLicious Apples at Beaverton Farmers Market, ©2018. Collection City of Beaverton, Oregon.

“Noon at L Bar T Ranch” was painted during the Washington County Plein Air event, and purchased by the City of Hillsboro. This is a well-known local ranch that supported a herd of buffalo for many years.

Noon at L Bar T RanchNoon at L Bar T Ranch, ©2018. Collection City of Hillsboro, Oregon.

I believe that public art is so important and I am excited to have my work included in local collections for many people to enjoy!

Oregon plein air paintings by Emily Miller

This autumn I also spent a day in downtown Portland with Elisabeth Jones Art Center’s Tree Emergency Response Team, painting significant trees at risk of being lost to development. Afterwards I stopped by St. John’s Bridge to catch the afternoon light on the bright red maples at Cathedral Park.

Radke Maple HouseAutumn Color at St. John's BridgeLeft: Radke Maple House, ©2018. On display at Elisabeth Jones Art Center, Portland.
Right: Autumn Color at St. John’s Bridge, ©2018. On display at Valley Art, Forest Grove.

Any drive around Oregon this fall has me appreciating the trees. Sunlight on the bright gold and red leaves is just beautiful.

Golden GlowGolden Glow, downtown Hillsboro, ©2018
Autumn Sun on Maple and Birch TreesOregon autumn plein air painting by Emily MillerAutumn Sun on Maple and Birches, ©2018

I had a great time painting the harvest season too – apples and grapes ready for picking!

Last Harvest at Fairlight Apple FarmPinot Noir Grapevines at Montinore EstateLeft: Last Harvest at Fairlight Apple Farm. Right: Pinot Noir Grapevines at Montinore Estate. ©2018

I spent six days out plein air painting this autumn, and I wish I could have spent more. It’s always been one of my biggest struggles as an artist to find the time for everything I want to paint, sculpt, see and do! Every day the colors change, more leaves fall, and new scenes appear in familiar places. I have some beautiful reference photos for studio paintings, but as a lifelong nature lover, plein air painting is a rich and rewarding experience with no equal.

Tualatin River at Rood BridgeTualatin River at Rood Bridge, ©2018

It seems like we still have a few more days of autumn, so join me outdoors if you can. Take a walk around your neighborhood, enjoy the colors of the season and the cooler air. Choose your favorite leaf, or listen to the wind.

Oregon plein air painting by Emily Miller

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