As for the inspiration of the piece it was from a wild, secluded area I used to hike to on a frequent basis because it was near my home. At that time I lived on Black Mountain in northern Siskiyou County of northern California. This area is about eight miles south of the Oregon border. In fact, in this area where the tree grew, I could look to the north to see the mountains of the Soda Mountain National Monument in Oregon.
The area is at about 3,000 ft. elevation so it does get some snow, though not much, and it is often wet and clumpy which made for the perfect circumstance for the painting because the snow clung to the leaves of the trees rather than fall to the ground had it been a dry and powdery snow.
Though I often hiked past this tree throughout the different seasons and often admired the tree for its dynamic shape, this particular day that I saw the tree I was stunned by its shape and colors as it contrasted against the snow. The backlit colors of the autumn colored leaves not only contrasted with the white snow and the blue shadows but they were also complimentary. It was the perfect time of day, the perfect place, and the perfect season. If you were an artist, you too would have been as compelled to paint it as I was.