When we went to the mountains I took a block of Arches water color paper along. It was cold press - not my favorite - but that was part of the interest. It was just a 10x12 - so the paintings would be small and immediate. Most were done in one day, or at most over two.
I love to engage the edge of my compositions - so I always draw in and tape an edge. To me the edges are an exciting part of the shapes, so I want to know where they are when I start the drawing and painting.
There were several beautiful photo books in the house we rented - one on San Francisco, one on Oklahoma, and another about Virginia, among others. Those three, in particular, spoke to me. The photos were beautiful, and the shapes were inspiring. So I used images from the books to do blind contour drawings on the pages. After enough lines were there, I would improvise.
It was interesting to see what came out. In subsequent posts I'll show the photos that started things, the drawings that resulted, and the final paintings. I don't have that for all of them, but for a few, so you can see how things change for me. It's a process that still surprises me.
The mountains themselves, and autumn (my favorite season) were all around and inside me, and they came out repeatedly in the paintings.