Finished!! Put the finishing touches on the last few leaves late yesterday afternoon, and with a sigh of contented relief, I put away my paint brushes with immense satisfaction. I did it. This is the second painting recently in which I’ve created part or all of the surroundings entirely out of my imagination. During walks through the woods this past fall, I spent a lot of time studying and committing to memory (as best I could), the patterns, colors and shapes of fallen leaf matter covering the forest floor. My reference photos of the ruffed grouse were terrific, but the surroundings were out of focus and details were not easily discernible. This was a large(ish) painting for me and took almost 3 weeks to complete. I hope it proves to be a strong contender for some of the national shows next year. Then again, maybe someone will just love it, want to buy it and it will find a good home!