This painting is a study in the effects of light and its reflection, and the use of the ‘rule of thirds’. (John Thomas Smith (1797), Remarks on Rural Scenery.)
The painting has been roughly broken into thirds, vertically and horizontally, thus forming nine distinct sections. The top horizontal third shows the scrub, a cropped tree, and a country track that moves forward towards the roadway, (second horizontal third), and a sandy creek (third horizontal third). The base of the tree has been placed close to (and above) the top-left vertical and horizontal intersection. A section further up the trunk of the tree is reflected in the water, close to (and below) the bottom-left vertical and horizontal intersection. This gives the painting good balance.
The large tree casts its shadow across the track and the bush. The colour of the sky and the tree’s foliage have also been painted as reflecting in the water. Note the colour change of the foliage in the water, in relation to the true colours in the background. This is a result of colour mixing and tinting. The shadows and sky colour suggest it probably is mid-afternoon.
The tones of the sandy colour on the roadway are soft, realistic and natural.
This is a simple painting, though not necessarily easy to paint. It shows the viewer that, for an artist, something as simple as a ‘T’ junction in a country road, can be seen to have aesthetic value.
Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown.