Quick Reference

Time Period:


Chalk Drawing


Farm, Landscape & Views





This is a chalk drawing of the same farm shown in oil painting December Farm. We bleive RSW made three other versions of this sketch. Their names are, A Winter Sketch, 1931, New England Farm; Winter Sketch, 1931, and New England Winter, 1932. We do not have images of the other chalk drawings.

Related Links

Featured Artwork:December Farm, A Winter Sketch

RSW's Diary Comments


Additional Notes

The Pynchon Gallery Exhibition, 1929, is one of the few exhibitions that featured Woodward's "Crayon Drawings." As many as 13 were reported to be exhibited and this website is not aware of any exhibit that featured more than this number. The Deerfield Academy, 1932 Exhibition featured 10 drawings.

December Farm, a Winter Sketch, is specially mentioned by Springfield Republican art reviewer, Jeanette Matthews.

Springfield Republican, 1929

Springfield Republican, 1929, by Jeanette C. Matthews

"'December Farm, a Winter Sketch,' is modern in spirit and design. All the crazy outbuildings of a hillside farm; including an angular not a circular silo, and viewed at an angle that ranges them down two sides of a triangle stand bleaky here in the most cheerful winter sunlight. It may be a hard, incomprehensible world, but there is always sunlight- in New England."

What is even more interesting, aside from Woodward making several "copies" of it, is its relationship to the oil painting December Farm.December Farm is a mystery because it was a personal favorite of Woodward's and hung in his home for nearly 30 years, yet there are no records of it in the artist painting diary or of it ever exhibiting. So we do not now the year or where it was painted. We do not know if it was painted before the sketch above or after.

A close up of the crops in December Farm.
Note the flatbed truck parked inside the barn.
The truck is notably absent in the sketch.

You can read more about this on the December Farm page, but the general gist of our theory of this chalk is that it was made weeks after the devastating stockmarket crash in 1929 and shows the farm now seemingly abandoned. If this is the case, then that would make this chalk drawing and scene an editorial piece depicting the fallout of the depression era.

There is a series of other, what we call "editorial pieces", made by Woodward beginning in March/April of 1929 when the first significant signs of empending financial disaster was inevitable, Genial Old House, Chalk, 1929, to the weeks following Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929, with this chalk drawing and Country Piazza, 1929. Ironic enough is that the height of Woodward's career would be during the depression and he turned his focus from time to time to portray a home or a farm, and people during this difficult period culminating in his painting, Passing New England, in 1937.

Regarding the
Chalk Drawings

The following is an excerpt from, "An Artist of his Time", a lecture, hosted by the Friends of RSW, on RSW by Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, which also did a feature article on RSW. CLICK HERE to view the Article

"...the pastel works - they're just fantastic. And I'm afraid that they photograph very well but you don't really appreciate the difficulty of making them until you see them up close. That as you know with pastel, you have to be very very good to make it work, because it hard to correct a mistake. With oil paint it's much easier to cover over the error. But these are really really spectacular."

October 4, 2014
Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine