Not long ago I drove to the other side of Lake Washington to visit the Howard/Mandville Gallery. It was having the opening reception for Wanderlust: Invitational Landscape Exhibition 2017.
I though most of the paintings on display were pleasant, and a few were very fine. But what struck me was how similar many of them seemed to one another, even allowing for the usual individual artistic personality differences.
Of course, subject matter can be a strong influence. I've mentioned now and then how similar many paintings of California landscapes can be. Then there is the fashion factor. Like the architecture of houses, it can be fairly easy to assign, within a decade or two, when certain paintings or illustrations were made. What I was viewing seems to be a currently popular approach to painting landscapes in the temperate zone of North America. I don't intend this a criticism. Almost all the works I viewed were pleasing.
The image at the top of this post is "Winter Silence" by Roger Dale Brown: I'll use it as an example. What is especially clear when seen in person is thinner, more free brushwork for incidental parts of the painting, though "incidental" might actually comprise much of the area of the canvas or panel. Contrasting this are more thickly painted, usually crisply defined details. In the above painting, the metal roof of the barn is an example of this. So are the tree branches shown against the sky -- the effect is wispy yet much of the detailing is sharp.