Well, if you want to find fault with this painting, I'd say the reeds need more and a different structure at their heads. The stalks are almost okay, but the fluff that is the top end of the reeds looks like some kind of mud mat is lying on the stalks. I wouldn't know how to achieve the proper effect, but there's one small part that looks pretty good, and that's in the middle of the strip of reeds where the ducks are facing. Your brush strokes there are finer and lighter, achieving some soft transparency that looks like a blurry photo of reeds.
The leaves on the trees and the far reeds are okay because you are far enough away from them for the structure to be lost to a person standing there in reality, too. Therefore the brushstrokes making up the trees and anything in the far distance are believable. But the middle and foreground parts of the reeds are so close, that a person standing there would see a whole lot of fine detail. This wealth of details is so striking and vivid in reality, that representing it with a flat smudge of color causes a feeling of wrongness.
Hope this makes sense, I find it hard to express what I mean (and to describe the areas of the painting I refer to).
Still, despite the "wrong" reeds, the whole of the painting is convincing and pleasing, because the colors and light are caught so well, and because many central parts of your depiction catch the essence of their respective reality quite well. For example the border between water and reeds in the foreground before the ducks is so "spatial" that I feel I am looking into a three dimensional space, not upon a flat surface, and the water and ski and tree-house-horizon have the rounded abstraction I so love in your art.
Firstly, thank you for your well considered response - you have certainly studied the picture! One of the things I was hoping to achieve here was a cohesiveness in the application of the paint, so I limited myself to a couple of larger bright brushes in a deliberate attempt to avoid detail. I decided from the outset to treat the reeds as large masses, to be seen as if by squinting. I can see your point that a viewer up close would discern the individual stalks, but I decided to forego this aspect, so that the the painterly approach was consistant throughout. I guess my success or not is up to the viewer, but that was my motivation. I appreciate your feedback!
Beautiful work as always David. I love the light in this piece. It amazes me how you can keep your brush strokes broad and expressive, yet the work doesn't appear to lack detail, or feel remotely incomplete. Well done yet again.