Friday, June 21, 2019

Gouache Adventure: The Green Footpath

Let's head out on a new adventure with the husky dog "Smooth." 

The Green Footpath leads us back into the woods, and I decide to paint the sun on the overgrown road. (Link to Video on YouTube)  

Nature writer John Burroughs (1837-1931) wrote in his essay "Footpaths": 
"An intelligent English woman, spending a few years in this country with her family, says that one of her serious disappointments is that she finds it utterly impossible to enjoy nature here as she can at home — so much nature as we have and yet no way of getting at it ; no paths, or byways, or stiles, or foot-bridges, no provision for the pedestrian outside of the public road. 
One would think the people had no feet and legs in this country, or else did not know how to use them. Last summer she spent the season near a small rural village in the valley of the Connecticut, but it seemed as if she had not been in the country : she could not come at the landscape ; she could not reach a wood or a hill or a pretty nook anywhere without being a trespasser, or getting entangled in swamps or in fields of grass and grain, or having her course blocked by a high and difficult fence; no private ways, no grassy lanes; nobody walking in the fields or woods, nobody walking anywhere for pleasure, but every-body in carriages or wagons. 
She was staying a mile from the village, and every day used to walk down to the post-office for her mail ; but instead of a short and pleasant cut across the fields, as there would have been in England, she was obliged to take the highway and face the dust and the mud and the staring people in their carriages."
Read Burroughs 1881 essay Footpaths
Cat's Tongue Brush


Daroo said...

Great Mise-en-scene in this film!

It would be fun to see the same film -- but entirely from Smooth's POV.

Thom Rozendaal said...

In your 'Gouache in the Wild' video you advise to paint shadow areas darker than they appear but the middle shadow area in this painting seems still fairly light. I often find I have trouble creating depth in my paintings if I leave the shadows as they appear. Besides atmospheric perspective, how do you create depth without relying on dark/light contrast too much? I was also wondering how long this took you? The usual ~1 hour? At the start you mentioned you were looking for a simpler motif than last time but ended up putting in a lot of detail.
Lastly, I think it's a positive thing that there's not footpaths everywhere in America. In Europe it's already so hard to find true wilderness with the dense population, and most nature areas are private or can only be reached by one road, or there's paths through it which takes all the wilderness out of it. I love the idea of just beelining straight out of civilization, and if I have to climb over bushes and jump over ponds that just adds to the beauty of it because it's the way nature is supposed to be.

Lou said...

Yikes, that tick! We don't have much of a tick problem where I live but because I travel to Florida and spend a lot of time outdoors I've invested in clothing treated with insect repellent. I'm not a fan of the sprays. It's rough on my fishing gear. I wouldn't make a move in your woods without treated socks, pants and a super-light long sleeve shirt.
I'd probably even get smooth a treated bandanna.
You be careful out there James, we wanna see many more years of these wonderful videos.