The sunrise light was dazzling as we entered the woods on a morning hike this past fall. I stopped and gathered several images of this area of towering trees underlit with the yellow light of the early sun. There was a tree that fell in front of the scene, one I'd painted before, years ago, when it first fell. That tree stayed perched on its stump for years, and it finally gave way just recently. As I painted, the fallen tree kept being downplayed by the light of the canopy, and more and more it faded into the dark foreground. I knew it served a better compositional purpose, but it took a few tries before it really regained that feeling that grounds you there as an observer in the place. I felt close to finishing this piece several times, only for it to reveal more and more possibilities toward that end. I'm not sure what pushed it to a finished state, but getting that fallen tree right seemed like an essential step.