I went to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH yesterday. I hadn't visited the museum in a while and it was really nice to see some paintings I consider "old friends." Among these was a large forest scene by Neil Welliver. "Blue Pool", a monster of a canvas at 96" x 96", was the first Welliver I remember seeing and the piece that made me want to become a painter. The woods is horribly complicated visually-there are sticks and leaves and weeds all over the place- but he knew how to capture it without simplifying it beyond recognition.
I don't paint like Neil Welliver, but I am drawn to the same natural subjects. He made me see that it is possible to recreate the woods on a flat surface with paint.