Just Follow that Road

I’ve always enjoyed folk music, and one of my favorite songs is “Follow That Road” by talented singer-songwriter Anne Hills. It tells of a country road and what you’ll expect to find at each season of the year.

If you’re drivin’ by in autumn you should follow up the river to Bear Lake
That’s the time to see the colors, there’s an old covered bridge you’ll want to take
Late at night be careful, just be sure to look for deer out on the road
And if it’s early in the morning, sometimes it gets foggy, take it slow…

But follow that road
Sugar maples far as you can see
Follow that road
Back through time, back through distance, back to me.

Please do more than read the lyrics. You’ll find the song here, along with gorgeous photographs illustrating the words.

This was the song I was singing Saturday morning as I worked on the following painting.

“Follow that Road” by Judith Kraus Oil on Canvas panel 8 x 10

It’s a small painting, and it’s not one of my favorites. I was, in fact, very disappointed with it. Although I like the general composition — I was trying again to create a certain “depth” in the painting — I don’t like the way it turned out. My colors are dull and lifeless, and I didn’t get the tree on the left very well “rooted” in the picture.

Oh, but I like the pathway I created. It’s not exactly a road, but it does lead somewhere, and for me, that’s a triumph of sorts. Why? Well, it’s because of this quote from Margaret Aycock in her book, “Painting the Landscape Outdoors and In the Studio“:

Roads should lead into, not out of, a painting, meaning, don’t end the distant portion of the road at the edge of your canvas.

I read this on Friday evening shortly before bedtime, and my brain must have already shut down for the day. I really wasn’t “following” what she meant. And, sad to say, as I thought back over roads I’d drawn or painted, it seemed mine did tend to wander right off the edge.

It was only on Saturday morning — with my brain refreshed from a good night’s sleep — that I understood what Aycock was saying. And so, I painted my little road leading right into the heart of the scene, and I hope your eyes did, indeed, “follow that road” when you looked at the painting.

And now, if you haven’t already done it, go listen to Anne Hills. I think you’ll like what you hear.


  1. Judith, rules are meant to be broken and what better way than through your art. It’s your interpretation and that is all that matters.
    I like “Follow that Road”. Perhaps it is that misty look and the colours you use. It is most inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Leslie. I think it’s wise to know the rules before breaking them 🙂 I can see how this pathway leads the viewer into the painting. For now, it will be a good rule for me to remember, and then when I’m ready, I can break it.

      Liked by 1 person

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