"Farther East" was the largest oil landscape I'd painted up to that time. Though I've done many large still life, painting a landscape that's much bigger than the plein air sized panels I usually work with meant that I needed to figure out some new approaches to compositional scale, brush handling, and simplifying shapes. I found that I liked working in this format, and have more large oil landscapes planned.
"Town Forest" was one of a series of small, quick studies that I painted last year in the 600 acre conserved property across the road from my studio. It is one of those "nothing" motifs that I love: a field, a maple tree, and a hedgerow.
What I like about both paintings is what I learned (or already knew but was reinforced) from painting them. I was uncertain starting, and had periods of doubting where they were headed while working on them. Both showed me, as my paintings often do, that I need to keep going and trust the process. As often happens, what I thought the paintings would be about changed in the course of struggling with them, and each took on a life of its own.To find out more about Susan Abbot visit her website and blog. You can also read her "favorites" post from last year.