Chapter 8 of Andrews' 'Landscape and Western Art' contains much that appeals to me, with immediate relevance to the things that I'm doing. Key points include:
1. A recognition that landscape painting may be wanting to hold on to the experience of being in a particular place, and a place that isn't in the least bit static: 'What we are concerned with... is the attempt to transmit the experience of nature as a constantly changing organism, not as a kind of grand-scale still life.'
2. An understanding that the practice of painting on location carries weight: 'One of the earliest advocates (of open-air painting) Claude-Joseph Vernet, insisted on the authority of nature: 'You must do exactly what you see in nature; if one object is confused with another, be it in form or colour, you must render it as you see it, if it is good in nature it will be good in painting.''
3. A suggestion that a title may be well-chosen. Speaking of examples of Turner's landscapes, we are told he 'enlisted poetry to enhance the meaning of the picture. The quotations... are not simply decorative extensions to the picture's caption... they are functionally essential to the experience of the landscape.'
4. The merit of painting in a highly familiar setting: 'Authenticity in landscape art, in these terms, is a transcription not of 'nature', but of subjective responses. It often involved a process of sustained direct contact with the chosen site... It meant saturating oneself in the site so that it ceases to be just a visual field, ceases perhaps to be a 'landscape', but becomes a complex of sensations... It becomes an environment.'
5. The value of creating multiple, related images. Speaking of a famous sequence: 'Monet has, by adopting the series format, altered his landscape into an environment... It becomes pointless to talk about ten juxtaposed Grainstack pictures as ten 'landscapes': they relate to each other as facets, or transcribed experiences, of a single 'environment'.'
6. How a painting can surpass a photograph of the same scene: 'What photographs seem particularly inadequate to document is this complex experience. They do convey rather precise information within their frame and moment in time, but until one has seen the motif itself, extended in depth and breadth, one will not feel its attraction, nor sense the effect of change of season or point of view, nor grasp how pressing is the translation of deep space on to the flat plane of the canvas.'
I'm not entirely sure what the final point of the final quote is getting at, but the other points are eminently understandable and chime well with the insights (such as they are) that I've stumbled upon in the course of making paintings and prints in the recent past.