Paint My Heart in Autumn Red-Gold and Orange

So far, there’s only one painting I’ve done, stoked by warm memories of Ontario’s stunning autumn leaf colour.  Swaths of flaming orange, red and gold paint forests, in parks and trees along streets and attract many walkers, cyclists and  car trip drivers.  While Vancouver, BC maps cherry blossom viewing locations every spring,  in autumn, Ontario tv channels and web sites plot scenic routes to see the best  tree colour in  rural areas and in parks.

Muskoka Lake region. Approx. 350 km. north of Toronto, Ontario. Photo by J. Chong 2002. During our trip when moving to British Columbia.
Muskoka Lake region. Approx. 350 km. north of Toronto, Ontario. Photo by J. Chong 2002. During our trip when moving to British Columbia.

Fall leaf colour is truly more glorious in Central and Eastern Canada south into Northeast US.  There is greater, vivid infusion of reds and oranges shot through  deciduous trees.  This region of Canada also has more maple, oak and walnut trees.

For awhile, the painting below,  seemed like a good-bye painting to me:  I grew up and lived in Ontario for over 40 years before I moved over 3,000 km. west  where autumn tends to be golden trees glowing amongst evergreens on the British Columbia coast, inland among the Rocky Mountain foothills or on the flat, yellow prairies.

Silver Birch Tree Stand in Autumn. Oil painting by J. Chong 2004.
Silver Birch Tree Stand in Autumn. Oil painting by J. Chong 2004.

So far, it’s the only painting I have created that is emblematic Ontario to me.  I can’t part with it yet, as a gift for someone else. Silver birch trees remind me of an old Canadian camp and paddling song that I learned as a 9-yr. old school child.  This song, Land of the Silver Birch was based on a poem by Six Nations aboriginal woman, Pauline Johnson aka Tekahionwake, during the late 19th century.  Six Nations  is a large aboriginal reserve near Brantford, Ontario.  She later moved to Vancouver  where she died.

Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver,
Where still the mighty moose wanders at will;
Blue lake and rocky shore,
I will return once more.

Boom-diddy-ah-da, boom-diddy-ah-da,
Boom-diddy-ah-da, bo-oo-oom

High on a rocky ledge I’ll build my wigwam,
Close by the water’s edge, silent and still;
Blue lake and rocky shore,
I will return once more.

Artistic cutaway in a viewing scope. Either Hidden Valley or Bracebridge, Ontario 2002. Photo by J.Chong
Artistic cutaway with a canoe, in a viewing scope. Either Hidden Valley or Bracebridge area, Ontario 2002. Photo by J. Becker

My heart grows sick for thee here in the lowlands
My heart cries out for thee, hills of the north;
Blue lake and rocky shore,
I will return once more.

As someone who has lived, hiked and enjoyed autumn forests in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, this song highlights simply the very best of  Canadian wilderness and Nature that poets and artists have captured over the centuries.

Moose. Mica Canyon, British Columbia 2015. Photo by J.Chong
Moose. Mica Canyon, British Columbia 2015. Photo by J.Chong. Approx. 150 km. north of Revelstoke.
Portaging or carrying their canoes while out of water. Algonquin Park, Ontario 2002. Photo by J. Chong
Portaging or carrying their canoes while out of water. Algonquin Park, Ontario 2002. Photo by J. Chong
Autumn forest flaming glory from firetowner. Near Huntsville, Ontario 2002. Photo by J. Becker
Autumn forest flaming glory from forest firewatch tower. Near Huntsville, Ontario 2002. Photo by J. Becker
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32 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue Slaght says:

    We are going to be in Quebec in early Oct and I am looking forward to seeing the reds of the east. Beautiful images here Jean and you are such a talented painter.

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    1. Jean says:

      I wish you a great autumn trip with wonderful colour, food, architecture and art, Sue. It should be fantastic colour! Which area of Quebec? I can see another blog post or 2 coming up. 🙂

      Like

  2. The painting reminds me on one we have in our cottage (from the previous owner of the house). It is depicting northern Finland during autumn time with birch trees showing amidst the colourfull leaves and then evergreen trees. I must say it looks really wonderful and I wouldn’t part with it either

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Glad it’s giving you good memories, CCfamily. I hang onto more autumn colour memories, since I grew up on a tree-lined street with maple trees and older homes. In my bedroom, the brilliant golden colour from the maple tree that grew in front of our house, cast a wonderful warm glow into my room on a grey cloudy day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabel Kwong says:

    These are such stunning photo of autumn around Canada – fiery leaves and vivid colours, what a sight. I like your painting. Certainly has an autumnal feel to it. Unlike Crazy Chinese Family, it doesn’t remind me of autumn here where I am in Australia. We hardly get leaves of that kind in the middle of the city. But walk out to any of the parks nearby, the trees are pretty colourful during autumn.

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    1. Jean says:

      I haven’t done enough reading about the weather in Australia and its climate zones. I assume your area doesn’t get any snow. Snow if any, happens in a limited area of the country? Because I’ve always lived in Canada, I associate autumn very heavily with quite cold winters following thereafter. I miss the reddish fall colour a lot.

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      1. Mabel Kwong says:

        The city of Melbourne (we’re south eat of the nation) doesn’t get snow. Two hours from the city there are mountains and there is snow there during the cooler months – enough for skiing all winter. Melbourne is certainly one of the more cooler states.

        It sounds like Canada overall has colder winters than most of Australia.

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  4. Alex Hurst says:

    That is a lovely painting. Excellent try for a first time!! I wouldn’t get nearly as far. 😛

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    1. Jean says:

      Thank you. Enjoy the lovely fall colour in Japan, Alex! Love to see some photos…which I’m certain will become quickly nostalagic for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alex Hurst says:

        Sadly already so! I spent all of this summer sighing and going ‘this is the last time I’ll…’ 😛

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        1. Jean says:

          I felt that way too, when I relocated to Calgary from Vancouver BC. But I still go back –50% of my stuff is still there. It’s a 2nd home to me. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Chyrel says:

    You’re very talented. I wish I know how to paint. Where I live, it’s always summer and seldom see these kinds of colors amongst trees.

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    1. Jean says:

      Hi Chyrel, I never thought of places that don’t experience annual brilliant autumn tree foliage colour. I guess tree leaves live “forever”…everlasting green or less variation in the Philippines. Then do Filipino celebrate “autumn” at all? Here it’s harvest season since we go through waves of different ripening fruit and veggies.

      By the way, is it typical many Filipino local women do lots of cycling or shall I say rough it out in the muddy rainforest trails? I’m not a mountain biker –just can’t be bothered to think too much of technical turning over bumps and rocks. So kudos to you. Do you ride-commute for work/school and shopping by bike too? We are car-free..Yes, even here in Canada with snow..

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  6. I LOVE this painting. Happy fall.

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  7. diahannreyes says:

    Beautiful painting. It strikes me that you are talented on multiple fronts and appreciate that your blog posts tend to be full-meals and multilayered experiences. I love that you both spend time in nature and are so talented at capturing her on the canvas too.

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    1. Jean says:

      Ok, I didn’t realize I was introducing multi-layered cakes. But hey, I like entertaining my readers even if I can’t feed them with food.;) I consider the painting beginner and traditional. I have weird stuff coming up –soon. By the way, congrats. on wedding, etc.

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  8. livelytwist says:

    Autumn is still a while away, but thanks for reminding me why I like it so much minus raking the falling leaves. Your photos are gorgeous, flaming forests indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Ah raking leaves. Just tell yourself that’s healthier than using gasoline portable leaf blowers. I fear for the health of some of those workers. What is autumn like in your area of the Netherlands?

      Like

      1. livelytwist says:

        It isn’t as beautiful in my opinion. I remember driving cross country from The States into Canada some years ago in Autumn. The flaming forests took my breath away.

        Still the changing colors remind me of the seasons of my life. I don’t like it when it gets windy and we have storms that I suppose are necessary to get all the leaves down. I don’t like the rain. I don’t like the cold. So I guess I just enjoy early autumn 🙂

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        1. Jean says:

          Enjoy the warmth of autumn now, Livelytwist. May your jogs be pleasant now.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah – I miss those colors from the East Coast. It is Summer most of the year here in Southern CA. Still triple digits this wk.

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    1. Jean says:

      I suppose what you wouldn’t miss would be the wildfires and drought which latter would have an effect on tree colour.

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  10. Such a gorgeous collection of pics. Love the one of the painting and through the cutaway (what a fabulous idea)!

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    1. Jean says:

      The cutaway viewer is abit corny, but very simple and if done in right way, can suggest to viewer ways of seeing a panoramic view.

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  11. This is just lovely…..

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    1. Jean says:

      Thx for dropping by with your coffee cup. 🙂

      Like

  12. Inger says:

    Jen, I love you painting, such a lovely piece of art! My grandmother was a painter so I have always loved and appreciated paintings.
    I haven’t experienced the fall in the eastern parts of Canada but I have hear many agree with you that the fall is even more beautiful there. But I feel we have been pretty lucky in Alberta this year. The colours stayed much longer then I can remember before:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Good to hear from you Inger. How’s the oil economy here treating you and friends here? You would love Eastern Canada’s dynamic, red-gold fall colours with temperatures that normally are warmer than our fall. It is quite different from Alberta’s gold. Like you, I’m trying to stretch enjoyment of our warm autumn as long as possible, now with the leaves dropping off.

      Your photos would make also great Christmas or greeting cards..

      Liked by 1 person

  13. BunKaryudo says:

    Silver birch is one of my favorite trees, so I really like your painting. I’m not so sure about those long, pointy hats they wear in Algonquin Park, though.

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  14. What lovely painting – truly represents the feel of autumn 🙂 I was smiling to see the two guys with their canoes 🙂

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    1. Jean says:

      Thx for popping by Indah. It’s pretty rare to catch sight of 2 canoe enthusiasts hoisting and portaging (carrying) a beautiful canoe overland. We were driving across Canada with my belongings since I was moving to Vancouver from Toronto. It was wistful good-bye of several days to Ontario in its autumn glory.

      Like

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