Beginning in 1897, Tack divided his time between New York City and the village of Deerfield in western Massachusetts, a practice he maintained for the rest of his life. The rural retreat became his home as well as the focus of his landscape painting until his discovery of the western landscape in the early 1920s. Tack's paintings of the Deerfield landscape include a suite of works that depict the countryside in different seasons; winter is captured in Windswept (Snow Picture, Leyden). As the title suggests, Tack was inspired by Leyden, a small town north of Deerfield near the Vermont border.
Similar to other paintings of the Deerfield landscape, Windswept has a high horizon and collapsed middle ground. Furthermore, this work reveals Tack's tendency toward generalizing and simplifying the geological formations into flat patterns.
An early work, Windswept (Snow Picture, Leyden) is a powerful example of Tack's independent vision. A snow-capped mountain looms, unattainable and remote, against a roseate sky, recalling the 19th century romantic tradition that focuses on nature's grandeur and mystery. Tack's techniques and motifs are both subtle and daring: he mingled wet paint layers, favoring rose, yellow, white, and blue, to suggest the luminous effect of early morning. These tonal harmonies, laid in broad brushstrokes, only obliquely distinguish sky from ground. The irregularly shaped patches of rock evolved from randomly placed bare spaces that Tack intentionally left in the hillside. These patches become the occasion for the abstracted pattern that appears suspended in the minimal composition. In their random disposition is an uncanny presaging of Tack's later abstractions. These flat, arabesque patterns recall Twachtman's landscapes in their reliance on Japanese prints, an aesthetic of common interest to both artists.