Everything in this portrait is carefully delineated without much selection.The entire image is presented with the same amount of clarity. This is common in primitive paintings and is one of the things that the academic or traditional training of a painter diminishes. Here is a grandma Moses.
I suppose in passing I will mention that.....................................
CHARM IS THE ONE QUALITY THAT WILL REDEEM A PAINTING BEARING ANY OTHER FAULT
Charming though it may be, the Grandma Moses was painted with no thought for lost and found passages or mystery. There is no awareness of varied hardness or softness of edges.
Below is an Inness that has lots of mystery.
Below is a detail from the Inness above. Notice all of the blur and suggestion in the hillside and distance. There is a kind of magic in a passage like this. We see it and know what it is but the representation is poetic, not a laundry list of unnecessary details. Poetry is evocative not matter of fact.
I find paintings with no mystery sort of annoying. All of that bristling detail gets tiresome and over insistent. Below is a Richard Estes with no mysterious passages at all.
And below an Alex Katz;
Whats the deal with Alex Katz anyway? And below, a Gilbert Stuart self portrait.