I have continued reading the book about Maynard Dixon that I discussed in an earlier post and discovered that in the spring of 1930 he spent some weeks sketching and painting near the town of Tehachapi, California. Tehachapi is set in the Tehachapi Mountains, the southernmost range of the Sierra Nevada, and is a beautiful place where we were fortunate to live for six years. Dixon’s work captures the spirit and beauty of the place and I scanned these paintings to share with you. The one above is “Storm on the Tehachapi”.
The one above is called “Deer Heaven” and shows the oak savannah habitat that is so common in the area. This won second prize in the annual exhibit of the San Francisco Art Association in 1930. The top prize was won by another Tehachapi painting of Dixon’s, “Merging of Spring and Winter” which wasn’t illustrated in this book. “Deer Heaven” was also included in the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Thirteenth Exhibition of Contemporary American paintings in 1932-1933.
This painting is titled “Springtime on Bear Mountain.” Dixon was staying in the small community of Caliente that lies on the north side of Bear Mountain, and this is a view from that side. While we were there, we lived in Bear Valley at the foot of the south side of this mountain. The jury at the San Francisco Art Association exhibit also singled this painting out for praise.
And I especially like this painting with its Native American theme that is titled “Neolithic Afternoon.” One of the charming aspects of the landscape of the area are these clusters of large granite boulders that randomly dot the valley floors.