A PASTORAL STORY
Some thoughts on the painting … The painting is a triptych, made up of three panels which, seen individually, could easily be three separate paintings since the image in each panel is quite independent of the others. However, as a triptych, they are meant to work together and create a compelling overall image of a pastoral scene: distant fields can be seen off to the right behind an old, leaf-barren tree; a road cuts through the middle of the painting, disappearing around a curve; a large trunk of a pine tree dominates the foreground on the left.
On the one hand, the “story” in the painting is what how we interpret the elements in the painting: where does the road lead? What is the history behind the worn-down wire fence? Have I seen this place before? —and so on. On the other hand, the story is also about the contrasting graphic and compositional elements: the open veil-like lines in the right panel contrasting with the solid, imposing wall of the tree trunk in the left panel; the diagonal bushes on the right side compared to the horizontal arrangement of then quickly disappears from view, and so on.
The scene in the painting, although based in part on a specific location, in fact could be anywhere. The painting is meant not to describe a specific place, but to evoke a sense of the pastoral: a place of quiet, of nature, of a balance between the cultivated and the wild—in other words, Arcadia.