When we were together…..Dixon would never converse much. He did not need to. He was one of those rare and wonderful companions who did not carry with them a requirement that one engage in constant conversation. We had our occasional discussions of matters quite profound, but for the most part while visiting he would draw or read. The wonderfully warm feeling he radiated – a feeling of recognition, of support, of universal compassion, and of dedication to his art – rendered verbalization unnecessary, even superfluous.
Which is not to say that Dixon was a less than engaging conversationalist. He possessed what I would call a creative cynicism. He had a talent for characterizing people in terse, perceptive, very cynical, but never really unkind statements. I remember his turning this particular talent on the hero of his youth, Frederic Remington, a man whom he judged to be “one of the few who really understood horses.” That was Dixon’s way of saying that Remington, a significant artist in his own right, knew a great deal about the West, knew the cowpunchers and the corrals, and the horses, of course, but did not really comprehend the major concept – the important concept – that of the land, of the West itself.
– Ansel Adams, Maynard Dixon: An Artist, A Friend