‘Golden Hills I’ is not just a landscape painting, because while it shows the stunning hillsides of the Los Padres Range, to me, the hills, slopes and valleys have a special personality, and seem to come to life as you look closer, or more precisely, seem to have stopped whatever they were doing as soon as you gazed upon them and are waiting for you to look away before they can come back to life.
The smooth– and as the artist points out, naked – hills look like they could be huge people, nestled under a blanket, round tummies and heads creating the shapes we accept as a natural formation of hills and valleys. But the hills are just resting and as you watch the shadows creeping across the painting and see the golds being transformed into deep greens and violets, and I get the impression that the hills are just waiting for the sun to pass over them and set before they throw off their blankets and start up their party. They’re waiting for you to go too of course.
The perspective of this landscape painting is also unique as while the viewer knows that, because of their nature, the hills are enormous and imposing natural creations, we feel just as big as we look upon them. While many landscape paintings depicting hills and mountain ranges are painted from within a valley, or looking up at the hills, we see the Golden Hills full on, on their same level and the effect is one of empowerment and peace.
Empowerment at feeling as on top of the world as a mountain range must feel every day, and peace at knowing that being confronted with this normally imposing mountain range, you are right up there with it, you can take it on, or you can join its party, but you have the choice.