Getting lost is the only way to discover something worthwhile. I let myself get lost often. A few years ago, I was tooling around western New York State, lost, and enjoying some of the most gorgeous farmland and waterways I’ve ever seen. I don’t know where I was when I turned a bend and came upon this lovely scene, probably somewhere not too far from Rochester. I’ve tried painting it many times since, but this week I think I may have finally found its essential character. Painting all the pondscapes helped me to understand the water, and a new approach to simplifying trees helped too. Restraint, plus establishing accurate gestures and values with the base layer allowed the painting to develop rather quickly. I have to admit my debt to the Hudson River painters. When I started seriously painting, they were among my first “mentors”, along with the early Dutch landscapists. I admire the way both groups of artists respected the integrity of the subject. Their approach has certainly informed the way I work as well. Enjoy!