Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Cape Cod Sand Dunes" by Grace Martin Taylor

I've been thinking about making a landscape for almost two years now. Still haven't done it. It is merely a desire, opposed to an impulse. I can neither explain why I want to make one nor say why I'm blocked any time I attempt to realize this desire.

Today I was revisiting work by Grace Martin Taylor and was struck by this image, I suspect because it can help me answer those questions. A lot of woodblock printmakers and some painters in the 1930's made these sort of swoopy landscapes with outlines that seem to describe wind and sound more than solid ground. Most of those, unless they are also grounded by animals or structures in the scene, strike me as too airy to hold my interest.

But this image, for whatever reason, has my attention. There's something subtly bizarre about the use of color, the weight imbalance in the foreground tree, and the scale of the birds. I sort of feel like this image is a siren's song in the far-off distance, slowly drawing me to my doom.

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