Rebecca Mitchell (Whitin), Smith class of 2000
From the moment I saw this painting it invited me into it. The log in the foreground pointing the way, the traveler's red cap, echoed in the red chimney of the house, nestled within the trees, and again in the red roof peak in the background. Patches of sunlight encourage me to notice this young sapling, that field, those leaves. Diagonal lines gently zig and zag throughout the picture, asking me to keep looking, keep thinking. The strong vertical trees anchor me in this place, and in this moment.
Seventeen years ago I spent hours in front of this painting, gathering ideas for one of my first art history papers. My professor Caroline Houser told me that a work of art becomes like an old friend when you look at it closely and thoughtfully. Every time I return to Smith, I pay a visit to this old friend, and many more.