Professor Anthony Atherton
February 2, 2015
Tomas Moran: Florida Scene
Thomas Moran makes his work directly influenced by nature. His oil painting works, Florida Scene, utilizes organic shapes. The few trees seen bear long, curving branches. Beneath the trees lie numerous green, round shrubs and wild flowers. The wild aquatic weeds surrounding the outwardly shallow, natural pond in the right appear to grow in every direction. The irregular, almost threatening appearing, leaves of the palm fronds flutter in the breeze coming from the ocean. Above the tidal waves of the ocean is the clear sky. The clouds are ambiguous, constantly morphing into new shapes.
Moran uses good technique of atmospheric perspective, which illusion of depth is well appeared realistically. He subtlety changes color, value, and detail to provide a real sense of being present in the tropical climate of Florida. Tones of pale yellow unite the sandy beech and sky evoking a humid, hazy atmosphere, which Florida is notorious for. The dominant subject, or figure of the composition is the curving palm tree in the center, jutting from the side of a sandy hill towards the direction of the ocean. In the background, lies the ocean, a large ship, and passengers descending from the boat, these figures diminish in size giving a feeling of increased distance between them and the viewer. The ship and her passengers lack detail in comparison to the palm tree. The palm tree is complete with strokes defining each individual leave of the palm fronds and intricate rings decorating the bark of the trunk. The ship lacks such adornment, each plank of wood making up the boat cannot be distinguished and the people in the picture do not have faces or fingers. The colors used in this piece are mostly comprised of cool colors, green vegetation and blue ocean and sky. The clouds are neutral tinted a white, adding to the like-like quality to the work. Moran creates an implied illusion of motion in this piece. The center palm tree alludes to be growing toward the water, the ocean. The boat appears to be bobbing along the rough ocean.
Moreover, there is a balance between unity and variety. The components such as the trees, ocean, and sky belong to one another. These natural elements combined embody nature, they form a harmonious whole. The placement of dark green, low-lying shrubs are repeated throughout, spouting all the way from the left hand side to the right. Variety is displayed by the many diverse species of vegetation; there are palm trees, an oak tree, shrubs,