Green Rowboat on the banks of the Saone River, France.

Green Rowboat on the banks of the Saone River, France.

Each day at least one passenger would ask to see the paintings and drawings I had done that day.  This little sketch was one that I had tucked in the back of the pile, assuming that it was totally unsuccessful in capturing the image that had inspired me.  A bit of an edge caught the eye of the woman who had requested a peek at the artwork.  “and what about that one?” she asked.  Reluctantly I pulled it out from its hiding place and held it out to her.  A look of surprise and a moment latter she exclaimed “That’s that little green rowboat I saw tied to the bank this morning!  Wasn’t it wonderful?”  …. and that was before I wrote the note in pencil in the bottom corner.

This short encounter reminded me not to underestimate the ability of abstract simplicity to connect with a viewer.  It also reminded me to leave a painting fresh and not to add definition simply to make sure that an “object” is not mistaken for something other than it is.  it wasn’t the fact that it was a rowboat that inspired me in the first place, it was the spot of intense Hardware Store Green against the gentle landscape of Provence.

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