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Time Period:


Ink on paper

Japanese Ink Wash








Made while still in high school (RSW would graduate in 1904), we believe this is an early ink wash technique painting.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Unnamed: Forgotten House

RSW's Diary Comments


Additional Notes

Enhanced look at the Ink Wash

This painting/drawing has been said to be a "charcoal drawing under glass," however, it does not look at all like any other charcoal drawings of Woodward's we know of. This determination was made before we knew anything of RSW's interest in the art technique of Japanese Ink Wash. He learned it in high school and the time period, 1903, fits with his junior year in school. What has us believing this is an ink wash is the tonal "washed" look of the grass and coloring of the trees. We have other examples of ink washes by Woodward and this artwork more closely aligns in toel, coloring and style with the other painting. Though it is clear that this is the most beautifully detailed of the bunch. and hung in the Woodward Upper Street home.

The painting hung in RSW's Southwick home until he gave it away as a gift to someone important to him. It is possible Doc Purinton mistaked this for a charcoal because it is under glass, as all such drawing, including chalks, are under glass. It is unclear why the piece is under glass, however, we DO have another example of an ink wash under glass. Unnamed:Through Two Trees is an ink wash brought to our attention a number of years ago. It was found in a thrift store in a nice frame and under glass.

Trapeziod Symbol close up
A close up of the 5 triangle motiff
in trapeziod form aside the motely shrub
located in the right/center of the drawing.
Visit Ink Drawing: Forgotten House for more...

Oddly enough, we have an ink drawing of what appears to be the same house and collapsing addition. The problem is... the ink drawing was found in a sketchbook from around the early 1930s. Also, the two drawings are by no means exactly the same! In fact, there are a number of discrepancies; (1) the landscape around the house is not the same; (2) the side of the house have the same top windows, but missing are the lower windows; and (3) note, in the ink wash, there is a barn or building of some sort behind the house but the ink drawing has a wind blown tree. Did RSW re-visit the old place or did he make the ink drawing from the 1903 ink wash? To complicate matters more... RSW snuck in the drawing a symbol he used between 1907 and 1915 exclusively in artwork meant for his friend Helen Ives Schermerhorn. The symbol is a five triangle motiff in a trapeziod form.

At its most basic, the symbol is a clever form of "W" used by Woodward. There is a much greater significant to the symbol for which we are putting together a Scrapbook page dedicated to the symbol's varied symbolic meanings and importance. Keep an eye out in our "Updates" section for that cool read!

See also...
The Helen Ives Schermerhorn Bookplate Page