The luminous blue mountains in this 1974 painting, not long after the abstract paintings of the 60′s, owe much to that seminal period. The ‘monumental’ patch of blue opens up this painting to a scale that this subject deserves. The houses in the foreground are on a plateau that drops off to reveal a glorious yellow woods in the middle ground. They take you for some distance, seemingly to the mountains beyond. The sturdy little buildings, bathed in light, are welcoming, also inviting entry into this beautiful en plein air painting and balancing the mountains beyond.
McCarthy had a certain knack for successfully bringing the viewer into her place and this is a place she frequented whenever possible, at the foot of the western Canadian mountains.
The big sky perfectly balances the rolling foothills in this impressive studio painting. Completed later in McCarthy’s career, following a spring en plein air painting trip to the foothills of Alberta, McCarthy again captures the blue mountains, abstracting the whole, the light and movement of the clouds rippling and storming along changing the light over the hills as they go. A massive scene remembered, something McCarthy was so adept at doing, no more so than in this one.