Friday, September 30, 2011

California light

This morning during my walk, this was the view from high up on the road above the house.

In 1909 the California Art Club was founded in Pasadena. Its founding members included painters Franz Bischoff and William Wendt, and Wendt's wife the sculptor Julia Bracken Wendt. Plein-air painting - going outdoors and painting directly from nature - was enthusiastically emphasized, perhaps due to the Southern California's glorious climate and the dramatic contrasts of its landscapes. Beaches, mountains, forests and desert were all a short motor-car or trolley ride away.

In 1913, E.C. Maxwell writing for the national magazine Arts Journal wrote: "the word has gone forth to the world that California, that land of golden light and purple shadows, is destined in the course of the next few years to give us a new school of landscape painting...Conditions seem right for a renaissance of art in California..."

These California artists - William Wendt, Edgar Payne, Franz Bischoff - frequently painted landscapes of the Santa Monica Mountains, including Topanga and Malibu.

A critic writing for the Los Angeles Times in 1911 wrote of Wendt's paintings:

"Wendt paints Topanga with the perfect understanding that comes from perfect love. In his pictures of this wonderful canyon the very spirit of the out-of-doors and also -- what is equally to the point -- the very soul of Southern California, is felt."

William Wendt, "Converging Fields"
If you look closely at this undated William Wendt painting it appears to be a view of the same rocky ridge of Saddle Peak that I see from my morning walk.

Here's another view from my camera. What do you think?


smalltownme said...

I think so!

cactus petunia said...

Wow. When I saw the first photo, I immediately thought of William Wendt. You are so lucky to have such a beautiful view!

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! So beautiful!