I’ve always been intrigued by houses half hidden by trees. They arouse all of my worst instincts. The very fact the house is hidden makes me want to spy. I don’t of course, but I want to. The feeling is contradictory in any case because I want a house like that, private and treed. And I certainly wouldn’t want anyone else peering between the leaves.
The house I painted was particularly appealing because of the way the sunlit picked out the front porch. The tree sheltered privacy is an illusion though. And no private person’s privacy was injured by painting it. The house is one of the remaining officers’ houses at Fort Robinson Nebraska. Nor do the trees completely shelter the house, they merely screen it from the parade ground. From the porch one would have an unobstructed view of the northern bluffs. Not a bad thing that.
My painting methods were conventional. I began by tinting the paper with burnt sienna. Then I sketched the house and trees. I painted the house first working from light to dark. Then I added the trees beginning this the trunks. I painted the trees loosely working very wet. Then I scrubbed the edges to soften them and lifted color with a tissue.
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