The Heart of the Forest


The autumn pathways in Iowa are so colorful, so rich in foliage that no photograph can seem to do them justice.  These photos, taken on the Clear Creek Trail in Iowa City, give you just a hint but no sense of the surround.

OctoberForest2A OctoberForest9

I keep returning to the sketches and paintings of William Trost Richards and his amazing ability to capture this sense of being in the thick of the woods, surrounded by trees and leaves of every kind, and the glory of that, both in pencil and in the full color paintings he did.

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Forest_Interior_-_William_Trost_Richards           TrostRichasrds-Leaves

William-Trost-Richards-Blackberry-Bush WilliamTrostRichards-Forest


Trost Richards’s studies of branches and leaves, so simple but so gorgeous.



The two versions here of an autumn forest may be before and after restoration, yet each gives a sensation of fall in all its glory, mid-day and at dusk.

WilliamTrostRichards-Forest-Interior                      william-trost-richards-forest-interior-1865


And finally, the paintings of Worthington Whitridge, which also go a long distance into the heart of the forest, the depth and calm.

WorthingtonWhitridge-old huning ground


About D. L. Pughe

Freelance writer and artist.
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