Weary, c. 1878
Transparent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor, rewetting, blotting, and scraping, heightened with gum glaze, over graphite, on medium weight, rough-textured, ivory wove paper, laid down on gray board
24.1 x 31.1 cm (9 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.)
Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 156.2005
Like Apple Picking, Weary was painted by Homer during his 1878 stay at Houghton Farm in upstate New York. The young, pensive shepherdess featured was a local girl hired by Homer to pose. While Apple Picking was painted in opaque watercolor, Weary is one of the artist's earliest attempts at working entirely in transparent watercolor. In this technique, the white of the paper is exploited to create an effect of sparkling light, which Homer used to conjure a sense of fresh air and wholesome country life.