The Intimate Forest

A Celebration of the Beauty of Nature in Oil Paintings by Harlan


preacher in the woods


Preacher in the Woods

30x40 2006

I can remember the first time I saw a Jack in the Pulpit as a child. Our home was situated above a river which supported many wild areas along its banks. It is such an interesting plant. I was happy when I discovered some growing wild in my woods. They rarely choose to sprout up in areas that, as a whole, lent themselves well to a painting so I carefully transplanted some into the garden beds nearer the house. This particular plant grows on the hillside heading down to the pond. I love to watch for them in Spring and look for their bright red berries in the Fall.

The fine blades of grass in the foreground of this painting increased its difficulty multifold but they are a very important part of the composition. I spent seventeen painting sessions to complete this painting and as of this writing I have no objectivity for this piece. Sometimes, because of the challenge I have set myself and the extensive time devoted to a painting, I end up seeing my frustrations and not my accomplishments. I know this is a very excellent painting but I will feel dissatisfied with it for at least a few months. Perhaps I will edit this page when I can see this painting with "new eyes".