Gruppe was a splendid designer and pattern maker. The autumn scene is of the Congregational Church in Rockport, sometimes called "Old Sloop" church. The big dark tree on the right is balanced by three or four lighter birch trees leaning away from it at the opposite angle, on the left. These trees include a pattern of darks against the brightly colored midground. Gruppe has used counterchange all over this picture, setting the dark parts of the trees against the light parts of the sky and on the left darkening the sky so the white birches are boldly relieved against it. The strong darks make the colors "pop". A strong shadow is usually called for in order to get a strong light. It is the contrast between the light and the shadow that makes the picture "pop. This pattern of darks is liked together into a web like net thrown over the midtones of the distance.
The strongest and biggest dark (on the right hand tree) is placed next to the church, which gets our attention to that area. Sometimes artists call that a tonal climax, the darkest dark and the lightest light are placed together at the subject. It is a useful device sometimes.
The foreground and the base of the tree look to be painted in the mixed "umbers" that I mentioned last night. They contain all three primaries. The foreground grass looks like it was painted with ocher, but Gruppe used no earth colors, so it was mixed from chromatic color.
I wish Gruppe had taken a ruler to that steeple though. Gruppe lovers don't care, but that would bother me if I owned the painting. Its lean would haunt me. The bottom left corner of the lantern (that part of a steeple) needs to be kicked out a little to look "square". Gruppe was an excellent draftsman, I just think it wasn't important to him. It is that sort of thing that puts me off Gruppe sometimes. I never have that problem with a Hibbard, he adhered to a higher standard in his drawing.
Notice the repeating gables of the buildings across the middle ground. They have a relationship to one another that is rhythmic. The repeated shapes differing in size and perspective give a jaunty bebop sort of a feel.
One of the advantages of painting loosely as this is that you can get away with a lot of arranging. The more literal you are, the less poetic your arrangements will be.
YOU CANNOT OBSERVE DESIGN INTO A PAINTING!
In order to have rhythm and design in your painting it is necessary to push it around so it has those things. They will not mysteriously appear , they have to be consciously installed. A meticulously rendered highly accurate rendition is often arrhythmic.