Which road taken?

2013 Jan Which road taken

January 2013 –  Acylic on canvas 60 x 80cm

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as  I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.


14 thoughts on “Which road taken?

  1. Hi Sonya. This poem by Robert Frost is one of my favorites. Your painting accompanies it beautifully. Which to follow, of the two disappearing points? I also like the shadows, rippling up the hill. Jane

  2. Absolutely love this – the fluid lines, and the way it reminds me of a mid-century or even a thirties viewpoint. Not that it doesn’t look contemporary, just the associations I get – this is going to sound daft, but I thought of Peer Gynt too (maybe cinema?). Somewhere there’s an image or atmosphere I’ve remembered and can’t place it. I think it might also be a sense of layered depths in a theatre set – the strong contrasts of light and shadow. Maybe that’s all the anticipation of a story?

    • Well thank-you. In fact there is something about various items from the 1930s that seem to appeal to me whether it’s prints, paintings, fabrics, porcelaine, clothes, furniture … Maybe it’s that aspect of Modernism along with a Romantic element that is quite discrete, yet nontheless present.

      With the landscape of the Basque Country I end up seeing something of a connection with that era in it too – something to do with the shapes, proportions, colours – I can’t quite place what it is. So it’s interesting to me you should say that.
      I haven’t seen the film of Peer Gynt, so I can’t comment on that, but again it’s always fascinating the way that everyone brings their own history to their interpretations – it’s what makes a painting live in a sense.

      • Have you looked at the book ‘Romantic Moderns’ by Alexandra Harris? Beautiful book and a real treasure trove of the era’s imagination through artists and writers. If you haven’t it’s well worth it.

      • That’s amazing – & very perceptive of you. I discovered that book a few months back – one of those things when you think “this sounds exactly like what I’ve been looking for for ages” & so I ordered it immediately. I really enjoyed it. Since then I’ve lent it to someone & also ordered a copy for someone else as a present! I’m curious to hear what they think of it as well.

  3. I love the simple way you’ve treated the background trees, hinting at the foliage and branches. And the shadows of the branches reaching and curving really give it a lot of movement in my opinion. Also, one of my favorite poems!

  4. Thank-you -it’s interesting that you noticed the treatment of the background trees because I was wanting to kind of explore that path a bit & sometimes you question where you might be going – which also was partly why I chose to do this particular painting; A sort of marking point if you like, though in hindsight I may not think so at all! I suppose what I really mean is I just need to keep on discovering.

  5. Another wonderful painting, Sonya! So beautiful! Blending so well with the depths of Robert Frost’s poem…

    Looking at the painting, again and again, I kept thinking – which of those paths would I take? Both appealed (and I would want to investigate both) – but I found myself drawn much more strongly to the uphill path. Something to do with the shadows of the trees on the ground pointing the way, and wanting to follow their lead – and the curve of the hill; the tantalising rise of the land into mystery and autumn colours, rather than the feeling of returning to the familar that the downward path into the green suggests. I don’t know what that says about me!


  6. Thank-you Melanie – & it’s nice to hear other people’s preferances. I always want to explore the uphill path whereever possible – something about finding out what’s at the top or on the other side of the hill & also the urge to see out over the landscape that seems to be on offer by going uphill. Seeing out seems to project you into the surrounding area & take you on yet another flight-like journey in your imagination. I’m not sure what that says about me either!

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