Growing up in a coastal town I spent the first two decades of my life in the company
of a vast horizon. It unified my references, grounding me in a realistic sense of scale.
In that presence I was made aware of the limits of my reach and invited to
challenge my expectations. When I faced the horizon, I wanted to reach farther.Ê
The constancy of that grand entity exerts a calming influence that tends to go unnoticed
and its overwhelming presence is so large as to be invisible. It seems to me that
I only became aware of it after moving away.
Having lived a couple of decades in the Sacramento Valley, I have developed
a very different relationship with my surroundings. Here, that endless horizon
is fragmented, and we tend to see it as a promise and a latent asset.
At the beach, the horizon comes to us but in the valley we must go to it.
So I go to it.
By taking the aerial view, I see our valley in full and within the context of the whole
picture, I have the opportunity to reduce my physical presence to its appropriate scale.
Looking at the valley from an aerial point of view shifts my perception and enriches
my awareness of the landscape and of my presence in it.
From the air I am able to fully appreciate the complex beauty of this region.
As I raise my vantage point, I am invited to pay less attention to the vertical elements
of the landscape as the emerging field becomes dominated by horizontal patterns.
The geometric patterns we see from the air are the signature of our occupation.
Viewing the levies and fields that slash and shape our land allows me to simultaneously
enjoy the beauty of their geometry and note the creeping vastness of our impact on the landscape. Up there I am able to incorporate the unifying force of the sky into my work.
The resulting perception and sense of scale calms and pleases me immensely.
Seeing the landscape from that point of view, a painter
is presented with an endless array of compositional opportunities.
Who could pass up the fulfillment of working that much land with his hands?
Deladier Almeida - May, 2007.