I feel I must give Charles M. Hawthorne the benefit of my doubts; I don't think this is the book he himself would have written had he chosen to do so. The book is mostly a collection of class notes, gathered and published posthumously by the artist's widow. Unfortunately, the reader is at the disadvantage of knowing little of what the work being critiqued actually looked like.
His critiques can be contradictory: for one student he tells them to see the color and then exaggerate it on the canvas; the next he asks why the color he put down was so vibrant compared to what was seen, and he reminds the student that the viewer shouldn't see the color, but the object being painted. He then tells the next student to stop looking at the object, and just paint the color! These observations are very difficult to comprehend without visual example, as maybe they seemed more in synch with the student's paintings at the time of the class.
Throughout the book, his mantra that painting is nothing more than putting one correct spot of color next to another, fills the pages. He was an influential teacher, and many clambered to study with him in New England. There is definitely something in his teachings, and there are kernels of wisdom to be picked out from the pages. I just don't think that this might be the best representation of what he offered his classes.
His paintings are not my cup of tea, and so, I might also be biased. There were other Americans painting at that same time whose work I liked much more. If you have reasons why you feel I am under-appreciating Mr. Hawthorne, then please feel free to comment. Well, time to finish the book, and move on to the next one...