How the Art Happens - Into the Forest

August 28, 2019  •  1 Comment

Into the Forest

Into the ForestInto the Forest WrapA panoramic format photograph of a dense Colorado Aspen forest under bright green foliage presented on canvas and gallery-wrapped around the edges.


"Into the Forest" sold this week as a 20" x 48" print on canvas and gallery-wrapped around the edges. This sale got me to wondering why clients purchase specific pieces of art.

I have been taught that people purchase art for emotional reasons. I think that, as a generalization, is mostly correct, even though I have sold a few pieces because they matched the sofa or looked good over the fireplace. I think more clients purchase art because it speaks to them on a subconscious level. I hope they choose their art for the same reasons I originally chose my subject. 

So, why did I create "Into the Forest"? How does it speak to me?

It's hard for me to find words to describe how forests make me feel. They are quiet and serene. They make me introspective and thoughtful. But, not always. The scene has to be just right. The light has to be soft but not dark. There has to be a specific direction to the light. Shadows need to be open and minimized. There has to be detail everywhere. The light cannot be harsh, direct, sunlight.

The color needs to be vibrant and inviting but not garish. There has to be depth that draws me in.

I live on the edge of the largest aspen forest on the planet. Springtime in the aspen forests around Crested Butte, Colorado can be amazing. For a few weeks every spring I can find these new, lime-green aspen leaves that are still transparent enough to glow in almost any light. When the light is just right, the aspen trunks seem to glow as well. That "just-right" light, for me, is bright and overcast daylight. Direct sunlight makes the shadows too dark and the trees too bright. Dark clouds just make everything blueish-grey and kind of dismal. Bright overcast light is just right.

Then there's the composition of the image. This concept is probably the most difficult for me to put into words. I usually just pan the camera around until it feels right. But, in hindsight, having a dominant tree trunk almost centered in the composition is a strong element of visual focus. Everything else in the frame is subservient and junior to that single, largest, tree trunk that seems to yell "look at me". Having the sharpness in the image decline as the depth increases also pulls attention to the brighter trees in the foreground. "Into the Forest" turned out to be a fairly complicated way for me to express the quiet serenity I find while wandering through spring Colorado aspen forests. I hope you get the same feeling!


Once I get past smiling at all the cool "eyes" I'm admiring the design. Perfect.
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Crested Butte, Colorado photographer, Dusty Demerson creates fine art photography displayed as prints and canvases and provides private photo tours in and around western Colorado.

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