'Paint by number'

  "Autumn in New England,'' by Maurice Prendergast.

"Autumn in New England,'' by Maurice Prendergast.

"Toss in some wavy lines, an equal sign, and a squiggle,
then a lilac log, boulders with faces, a few phrases
like rock walls, twin marks from wagon wheels on granite.
The tell-tale lilacs give away the cellar hole:
magnetic lilacs, like nineteenth-century girls
in pinafores and blossom sprays, stationed
beside their no-longer houses. They look about to sing....


'By the middle of the nineteenth century, when de
forestation reached its peak, more than half
of New England's native forests'—according to Robert M. Thorson,
Stone by Stone— 'as much as 80 percent in the heavily settled
parts of southern New England—had been cut down,'
replaced with 'open space,' the autumn foliage
is paint-by-number and different tabs throughout
are half-finished murals of a single type of tree in a single time of year.''
 

-- From "Deconstructing New England,'' by Alexandria Peary