Forest scenes are also 3-dimensional, with the overlapping leaves of fall foliage, or a stand of aspens with cylindrical trunks receding into the distance.  For such scenes, the shapes of the individual Xtra-Dimension components themselves are chosen to complement the scene.

Aspen Palette (26″ x 42″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

Fall colors in the aspens of west can rival those of maples in the northeast, as Mike Putnam’s photo from the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon, demonstrates.


Side sheen

Winter Sun (38″ x 22″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

The verticality of this winter scene is striking, with pine trees reaching toward a blue sky and the evening sun casting a pastel glow around the trunks.

Front & side

Autumn Delight (65″ x 51″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

This large version of “Autumn Delight”, a popular image from Mike Putnam, is presented in 8 layers of leaf- and trunk-shaped components. Something of an engineering challenge as it’s made in two pieces, top and bottom, that fit together.



Winter’s Blanket (24″ x 36″)

Photograph by Olof Carmel

A format that I call “popped aluminum” – with the xtra-dimensional components for the snow-layered trees and blanket of powder snow mounted above the aluminum background print of Lake Tahoe.



Forest Light (29-1/2″ x 26-1/2″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

A combination of patterns created by shafts of light through a forest of redwoods and sword ferns.


Side sheen

Red on Black (36″ x 24″)

Photograph by Finalast

For this dramatic image of red maple leaves above a black background, the supporting print is made on aluminum and the colorful leaves are presented as leaf-shaped components above it.

Mossy Steps (28″ x 34-1/2″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

Proxy Falls, in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, has a beautiful color pattern with the moss and water and the underlying basalt provides a dramatic angularity that is mimicked by the slanting components.

Aspen Forest (50″ x 33″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

For this image of an aspen forest, the rounded shapes of the aspen trunks are reproduced in the curves of the rectangular components, while the shadows cast when lit from above align with the horizontal striations in the bark.


Matterhorn Reflection (38″ x 26”)

One from a series of three Matterhorn-themed pieces commissioned by a client whose family has memorable ties to the area!  The component pattern is designed to complement the symmetrical elements of the image:  the left-right symmetry of the mountain itself, and the top-bottom symmetry from the pond’s reflection.



Vine Maples (34″ x 26″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

“Vine Maples” was one of the first images I used for Xtra-Dimensions, exploring the possibility of building a entire piece from maple leaf shapes. The colorful photograph was taken by Mike Putnam along the Santiam River in Oregon. I’ve always been grateful for Mike’s willingness to share the image, as it enabled me to explore a whole new dimension for my art (pun intended…). For the current rendition (34” h x 26” w), I used a slightly different layering pattern to give more separation between the components and thus more 3-dimensionality to the piece.

Autumn Tapestry (42-1/2″ x 31″)

Photograph by Olof Carmel

A colorful autumn scene, with white aspen trunks, red and orange maple leave, and the canopy of yellow aspen leaves provides an opportunity to combine 3 different shapes to capture the different patterns in the image.

Trail Through the Redwoods (26″ x 22″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

With its mist and muted colors, this photograph of a northern California redwood forest has a feeling of depth and mystery.  Two different component shapes complement the contrasting geometric elements of the image: a curving pattern for the ferns in the foreground and an extended rectangular pattern for the vertical redwood trunks.

Aspen Glow (28″ x 58″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

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Autumn Aspens (40″ x 24″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

The depth of this aspen grove is emphasized by the 3-dimensional presentation, which in turn enhances its almost mysterious nature.


Orient Express (16-1/2″ x 37″)

Original watercolor by Sherri Reeve

Sherri Reeve graciously shared her watercolor “Orient Express,” a signature design from her gallery in Makawao, Maui.   This piece has five layers of five-petal flower components arranged in a pentagon-based pattern.



Lilac Orient Express (20″ x 41″)

Original watercolor by Sherri Reeve

I’ve used a related image from Sherri Reeve in a fan-shaped motif.



Bamboo in the Mist (23″ x 44″)

Original watercolor by Sherri Reeve

Sherri Reeve also shared her watercolor “Bamboo in the Mist.”  An arching pattern complements the criss-cross of leaves and bamboo stalks while a woven format is used for the Xtra-Dimensions, in harmony with traditional Hawaiian crafts.



Wild Dogwood (24″ x 37″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

This piece is unusual because only the dogwood branches and flowers are rendered “Xtra-Dimensionally” – mounted on an aluminum print of the rushing river in the background.

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Side lit.jpg

Autumn Passage (43″ x 32″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

For this image, leaf-shaped components are superimposed on the curved rectangular pieces for the aspen trunks, emphasizing the foliage in the foreground.  The lighting has a dramatic effect on what one sees in this colorful piece.


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Metolius River (50″ x 40″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

A beautiful image from Mike Putnam’s exploration of the Oregon back country lead me to explore a combination of shapes – leaves for the colorful maples and waves (sort of!) for the rushing river.  The idea of using leaf shapes as the Xtra-Dimensional components was triggered by the thought that brilliant pictures of Fall colors are akin to digital images with leaves as pixels.


MR-side unlit.jpg

Aspen Forest (50″ x 75″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

Paul Kozal, a photographer in Gualala, CA (, is also a generous collaborator.   This large piece is comprised of eight layers on two pieces of acrylic that are mounted side by side.  Smaller versions of this and a related aspen forest image (48″ x 32″ and 24″ x 16″) have also proven quite popular.




Autumn Delight (48″ x 38″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

Another photograph from Mike Putnam has a combination of shapes – the chokecherry leaves and the cylindrical aspen trunks – and a variety of patterns: the vertical trees, the horizontal striations of the bark, and the overlapping layers of the foliage. I tried to capture these different forms with a combination of curved rectangles above and a yin-yang pattern of overlapping leaf shapes below.



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Golden Aspen Grove

Photograph by Mike Putnam

A golden aspen forest image from Mike Putnam focuses  more on the leaves than the tree trunks, so the entire image is made of aspen leaf-shaped components:

Golden Grove.F-lit.jpg


Evening Glow Cypress (26″ x 38″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

For Paul Kozal’s image from Sea Ranch, I tried to capture the lean of the cypress trees and the movement of the image by slanting the components progressively across the piece.



Diablo Poppies (31″ x 37″)

This rains this year brought forth an amazing bloom of poppies on the slopes of Mount Diablo.  For this piece, the components have four lobes and a convex curl to complement the flowers.

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Japanese Maple (24″ x 36″)

Photograph by Paul Kozal

For Paul Kozal’s image of a Japanese maple, only the leaves are rendered “Xtra-Dimensionally;” the background is printed on aluminum for a very unusual effect.



Autumn Tunnel (31″ x 39″)

Photograph by Mike Putnam

I took a similar approach with another photograph from Mike Putnam, showing the maple leaves as a canopy above the blue creek and the forest background.



Golden Sunset (27″ x 36″)

Photograph by Elizabeth Carmel

California’s vineyards, too, have colorful fall foliage that is appropriately rendered with leaf-shapes, as shown in this piece using Elizabeth Carmel’s beautiful photograph.

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Napa Vineyard (23-1/2″ x 74″)

Photograph from Wikimedia Commons




After the Rain (24″ x 36″)

Photograph by Barbara Lee

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Return to the Home Page for links to more examples.