This small plein air oil sketch is unusual in that the lower half of the composition is
negative space, occupied only by bands of ground and water. The warmth of the modest house draws our attention to the middle ground, along with the active shapes of the fence and outlying structures; the tree then leads us into the quiet space of the sky.
Hudson is best known for her somewhat sentimental paintings of native Pomo children (see Quail Baby, or, The Interrupted Bath, ca. 1892 in MMA Collection). Perhaps this undated Shack by the Stream was painted early in her career, before her Pomo paintings became an all-consuming and lucrative focus.
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