If you don't work plein air(which I don't) you should at least know your subject. That's probably why I do well painting cats and florals....I own cats and I grow flowers. I have a passion for these subjects because they mean something to me on an emotional level. Today I took the time to really look at birch trees in an effort to really see them. I can't speak for everyone but I know if I have something around me everyday I tend to stop seeing and just look. There's a difference. It's subtle but it's important.
I'm quoting myself here..."Face it...birch are pretty much black and white, a few interesting greys with a peek of peach color where the bark has peeled back." Boy, was I wrong.
Across the drive from my home there's several natural stands of white birch aka canoe birch aka paper birch. I look at these trees every single day and have for years but today I saw them and what I saw was incredibly beautiful and unexpected. I was so excited I couldn't help but grab my camera and capture some images. How could I have missed such incredible color all these years? I looked but I wasn't seeing.