Good news: I had two paintings accepted into the 7th National Northeast Pastel Exhibit at Old Forge, and this one won the Mary Bonner Chapman memorial award.
From the beginning I had a good feeling about this painting. Perhaps that was due to the strong impression that the light of the setting sun on the tree tops produced in me.
The scene had some composition issues: there was a row of trees in the middle ground, the row of trees in the distance continued to the left, and the grasses pointing to the left guided the eye away from the focal area and outside the picture. I could have made the grasses face the other side, but often when you change too many things from a scene you end up with something totally different and the feeling for the place is gone. Anyway, I think I solved the problem by creating an S-shape design. When it came to color, I had to take risks and push it further.