Landscape...Wessex Tales by ©Janis Zroback

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Small 10.7" x 8.0"
Medium 16.0" x 12.0"
Large 21.3" x 16.0"
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Wessex Tales is an 1888 collection of tales written by Thomas Hardy…it’s a fictitonal world grounded in folklore and drawn together by Hardy’s pastoral voice…Wessex is actually many places, notably Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Berkshire and Wiltshire, but since I started reading Hardy as a child and went on to study his works in University, I have always had my own ideas about what the area looks like…most of his stories take place in Wessex and in these particular tales, Hardy talks about marriage, grammar, class status, and how men and women were viewed at the time…as alienated as his characters, the land they live in is wild melancholy, dark and brooding…( “The Return of the Native” the heath is as important as the characters…see below)…this is my little piece of Wessex….There are birds coming in, so all is not desolate..I hope you can see them…

Below is one of Hardy’s poems called “A Meeting with Despair” which fits the image really well…I had never read this one before and found it after I posted the painting…serendipity again

Watercolour on Arches Not Paper

As evening shaped I found me on a moor
Which sight could scarce sustain:
The black lean land, of featureless contour,
Was like a tract in pain

This scene, like my own life," I said, "is one
Where many glooms abide;
Toned by its fortune to a deadly dun—
Lightless on every side

I glanced aloft and halted, pleasure-caught
To see the contrast there:
The ray-lit clouds gleamed glory; and I thought,
“There’s solace everywhere

Then bitter self-reproaches as I stood
I dealt me silently
As one perverse—misrepresenting Good
In graceless mutiny

Against the horizon’s dim-descernèd wheel
A form rose, strange of mould:
That he was hideous, hopeless, I could feel
Rather than could behold

Tis a dead spot, where even the light lies spent
To darkness!" croaked the Thing.
“Not if you look aloft!” said I, intent
On my new reasoning

Yea—but await awhile!" he cried. “Ho-ho!—
Look now aloft and see!”
I looked. There, too, sat night: Heaven’s radiant show
Had gone. Then chuckled he
. Thomas Hardy..

Midnight on Egdon Heath

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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  • vampvamp
    vampvampabout 5 years ago


  • Thank you so much…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Angela  Burman
    Angela Burmanabout 5 years ago

    You have captured the atmosphere so perfectly Janis. Love it

  • I did not even know about that poem, but I know Hardy so well, that I think he has become a part of me…thank you so much Angela…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Holly Werner
    Holly Wernerabout 5 years ago

    Love this Janis. It does fit well with the poem. Great work.

  • Thank you so much Holly…I was totally amazed when I found it earlier this afternoon…hours after the painting was posted and waiting to be published…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • webbie
    webbieabout 5 years ago

    Great job Sis Janis…great poem too:) hugggggz

  • Thank you so much Thelma…very nice of you…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • mingtees
    mingteesabout 5 years ago

    gorgeous painting.

  • Thank you so much Amy…I’m really glad you like it…Hardy is one of my favourite authors….

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • bev langby
    bev langbyabout 5 years ago

    wow this is stunning Janis xx

  • Thank you so much Bev…lovely of you to say so…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Ron C. Moss
    Ron C. Mossabout 5 years ago

    I’m loving these landscapes Janis…well done!

  • I’m so pleased you like them Ron…thank you so much…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanabout 5 years ago

    very moody and atmospheric Janis….love the splash of light in the middle…eerie but enchanting at the same time! great watercolour.

  • Thank you so much Linda…Hardy’s novels are very eerie, so I’m really pleased I was able to convey that atmosphere….

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • RobynLee
    RobynLeeabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful & Surreal!

  • Thank you so much Robyn…very nice of you…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Kim McClain Gregal
    Kim McClain Gr...about 5 years ago

    Magnificent! The roots lool alive!

  • Thank you so much Kim…I mean’t them to look as if they were coming out of the picture…the land in his books play such an important part..

    – ©Janis Zroback

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