I think of Colorado when I see Aspen trees, their beautiful bark is a treat to behold, their heart-shaped leaves tell my story.

In my past life, I went to the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  It was a three-year program, and I attended classes in Boulder for several weeks for three summers and completed written works throughout the rest of each year. It was a lot of work (using the other side of my brain), many laughs, and I made some very good friends who I treasure to this day.  One very happy memory was on the last day of class of my third year when my (now husband) surprised me after exams with a diamond ring and a marriage proposal.  There were several dozen roses involved too. We stayed a few extra days hiking and enjoying the countryside. Years later we’ve returned to recapture the magic that Boulder holds for us.

There are a lot of Aspen trees in and around Boulder. When do the Aspens change in Colorado? The peak color of changing aspens only lasts for about a week in Colorado. However, the shoulder weeks bring to the state about a month of golds, greens, oranges, and reds from mid-September to mid-October. I worked on this painting for several months attempting to get the colors and tree bark to my liking. Perfect, no but that’s how I see it. Artistic license.

I added the gemstones and glass to this piece to draw the viewer in, to express my appreciation for the reflective colors, and to add emotion to my love for Aspen trees. There’s quite a bit of citrine, smoky quartz, peridot, and carnelian throughout with a smattering of mica and glass bits for attention. Quite often for depth I’ll use black tourmaline and bloodstone, lapis lazuli too. The water has multiple levels of resin with the trees painted/sandwiched within, so when you view it, the water looks wet. Pictures never quite capture the  heart and soul of these textural paintings.

This painting is large, 48×48″ on stretched canvas, currently hanging at the Hayley Gallery in New Albany, Ohio.