Rondout Creek in Accord, New York

Coming from Central California, I expect the landscape to be brown. Except for a brief green period in the spring that’s stunningly brilliant, our hills and valleys are mostly shades of furry-animal brown.

The late-summer colors in New York astound me. Everything is so green. Every shade of green I can think of, and some I can’t. Even with fall color beginning to brighten the deciduous forest, it’s the green that overwhelms my eyes. To a brain used to bare brown hills with only a scattering of dark green oak trees, this riot of foliage across the entire green spectrum is exhilarating. My brain is turning somersaults over the colors: yellow green, apple-green, sap-green, viridian, turquoise, blue-green, orange-green, even red-green.

GreenI’m not much of a landscape painter, although I do like to try to take down the vistas. But before I tackled this landscape, I needed to figure out a green palette, instead of  simply relying on my default sap green paint (a mixture of blue and yellow).

My first attempt at a color chart was haphazard, but I learned something from splashing randomly. Soon (when I’m not on vacation), I intend to make a more thoughtful color chart.