“Painted prior to 1929. The old carriage shed across the road from the old Herbert Keach place (the house and barns now burnt) - rocky steep hill of sugar maples rising in back - heavy snow in the air - figure with dog going through snow in foreground to the mail box. Painted from the parlor window of the Keach house. Owned by Mr. And Mrs. Elliot W. B....., Nov. 29, 1929, Concord, Mass, (opposite entrance to Middlesex School as Mr. B.... is a professor there).”
“... is the most poignant. A barn seen through a snow storm with the figure of a man bent against the wind. For the almost instant suggestion the picture made, it might have been titled 'Ethan Frome'.”
"Robert Strong Woodward's exhibit of oil paintings at Littlecote Galleries in the First Bank Building, Elizabeth and Genesee Streets, includes Stark New England reproduced above. In Stark New England he exemplifies a scene that is typical of that section of the country in winter. The figure trudging through the snow, the barn in the clearing with the background of a hill, the stormy effect through the tossing branches and the falling snow, bring to the canvas the touch of realism. This painting is one of merely a score that form the exhibit by this painter of New England subjects......."
The Woodward diary says that RSW painted Stark New England while sitting in Mrs. Keach's parlor just across the road. The cellar hole foundations are just about opposite where the carriage shed stood on the other side of the road which went by their house. Attached are the actual comments in the RSW diary. RSW almost always painted on the site, never from a photograph. And there was very rarely any "artistic license". What he painted was actually there...99.99% of the time. A painting usually took him 2-3 days on site and then another day back in the studio touching it up