Less is More

I’ve been struggling for inspiration for the past couple of months. Just not producing any work that I have been happy with.

A few days ago, I began a study of one of my most oft-painted subjects — the view out my window across a pasture. I began with some washes as an underpainting. When it began to dry, I began to add texture and interest in the washes.

It’s not a great piece, by any means, but it was interesting enough to me to be worth keeping.

It reminded me that sometimes the answer is less detail, not more!

The View out My Window

I spoke on ‘Keeping a Nature Sketchbook’ at the Pennsylvania Private Forest Landowners’ Conference last weekend. One of the themes I mentioned, and one of the easiest ones to pursue, is simply recording the view out of a window. I often sketch the trees or pasture I can see from my studio space; this particular scene focuses on the tree closest to the window, which sports some subtle mossy bits at key spots. I kept to my winter palette, which will soon be supplanted as spring arrives in full and the sepias and browns give way to prominent shads of green.

Winter Woods’ Edge

A modified view out my studio window towards the pasture and woods, using the limited palette of winter, which I always find pleasing to play with.

(I tried to play with some masking fluid to get some scattered snow, but –once again — got inelegant ‘blobs’ instead..)