I have been walking through the canyons and looking up at the trees against the sky. Sycamore trees have creamy pale bark that stands out against the sky, and I have been doing many small watercolor negative-space studies of them. Negative space is the sky-space between the branches that makes abstract shapes, looking at this when working helps get you away from what you "think" you know about a tree, very freeing.
Also, The Foot-in the Door show is up at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, this is a once every ten year show open to any Minnesota artist. I have a piece in it, not a painting but a jute piece. It should be a fun show and I look forward to seeing it when I return.