There has been little manipulation of structure or colour in this vertical image. In many ways it constitutes the start of a series of paintings (see for example) where the landscape pattern has been progressively generalised and abstracted without losing the strong link to the source landscape. Here, that link is direct and explicit and made so particularly by the presence of ruined dwellings, a two room ‘black house’ and a later building together with their associated enclosures and ‘kailyards’.
The picture plane is effectively divided in two diagonally. To the top right, the pattern of lazy beds is distinct including the remnants of some that ran over the rocky promontory in the top right corner of the canvas, a testament to the pressure on the land at times of high population numbers in the past. The part of the picture to the bottom left is equally important in understanding the relationship of pre-clearance society with the resources of their environment, a relationship that remains important today. This is a communal resource, the ombrogenous wetland or peat land that provided the only source of fuel and the pattern of rectangular areas visible in this part of the picture references the peat cuttings, with the different shades relating to the stages of regeneration of the vegetation following cutting.