This piece did not start out as an ode to the color red. I sketched from memory the shapes of rolling hills and fenced-in pastures in light yellow ochre. The recent triple-digit heat of July must have seeped through my fingers and bled onto the canvas.
John Ruskin, the highly influential British art critic of the Victorian Era declared landscape painting as the "chief artistic creation of the nineteenth century", and "the painting of landscape is a normal and enduring part of our spiritual activity". The elevation of landscape painting from a pictorial backdrop for portrait or historical painting, to a genre in its own right, took place in his lifetime due in part to his writings.
I am grateful for the influence of John Ruskin. I can feel the heat, smell slightly scorched grass, and observe a smoky haze between a purple tree and the very faint pink ones in the distance. I hope this painting brings you outside.