Maynard Dixon is a painter whose work I love for its impressionistic color and expansive view of the west. I first encountered his work when researching Dorothea Lange, famed photographer and Dixon's second wife, and was immediately captivated.
Dixon's vision of the West is so powerful, I believe, because of his powers of distillation. So well does he capture the essence of the land, that his resulting West is mythic, expansive, almost Elysian.
In the first two images below, he pushes the horizon as far as it will go in both directions and to different affect - he was a master of composition as well.
I was fortunate to see his work when it came to the Pasadena Museum of California Art a couple years ago. I saw the first painting below, and it inspired both my main character and the working title of my film (and this blog).