This painting is the latest in a series of long horizontal works depicting
the hills I grew up exploring in California. It is 65 inches wide. It is also the most
“tonal” of my recent paintings of the California coast range. I opted for this approach
because the light on these hills are so variable creating many moods. One such mood
fits perfectly into and aesthetic I love, that is of the early California painters most influenced
by a Danish artist who moved to San Francisco after study in Denmark and Paris and work as an instructor in Chicago. His name was Emil Carlsen. Carlsen
brought with him a tonal approach that deeply influenced his students including Guy Rose, Percy Gray and
Arthur Matthews, among others. This more subtle approach, in turn, fit well into the Arts and Crafts style of the
era. Carlsen did not stay long in California as he was largely ahead of his time in the west which, despite a thriving art community, lacked the sophistication to fully grasp his refined sense of design
and subtle sensibilities. But he left his mark on his students and peers, a mark that has lasted over a century
and, through Matthews in particular, influenced this painting – and my entire approach to art generally.
Amy Putney Conn
I knew this was near your home immediately
Yes, this is where I grew up. However, now we live in the Sierras. Many new artistic challenges and lots of great fishing. Hope all is well with you and your family out there in Utah.