After taking a week off, our Piece of the Week series is back this week with David Sites’ beautiful “Autumn Fields.” The piece is among David’s most minimalist both in color palette and in composition. “Autumn Fields” foreground is almost exclusively done in reds and oranges over a background that is harder to pinpoint. The upper half has subtle hints of faded yellow and lavender. The bottom half of the painting is a sort of derivative of the focal point, with reds and oranges that have been muted with a wash of dirtied white.
The effect this piece has in the flesh is striking. It is subtle, yet bold – blurry, but definitively crisp. The whisper of a million leaves quivering in unison is almost audible. The sky above the “tree-line” is misty and unmoving. Knowing their days are numbered, the leaves below explode with color, earnestly reflecting the warm yellow light of the fall afternoon. Perhaps more striking than the beauty of the piece is David’s admission that the whole thing was an accident. Unhappy with the direction the piece was headed, he decided to start new. As he wiped away the layers, the fresher paints came off with relative ease, but the reds and oranges stubbornly remained like the leaves in the fall – clinging brightly to the last throes of life. David liked the effect so much that he said to himself, “This piece is done.”
In an interview with David, he commented that this piece is one that he consistently turns to for guidance, when working on his other landscapes. While none of David’s other works look exactly like “Autumn Fields,” all of David’s works contain a similar quality of crude refinement that embodies nature’s paradoxically brilliant essence.