In 1960, the year in which Golden Ridge was painted, John Perceval won the Wynne prize for landscape painting. It was a time at which he began to look at landscape as pure subject, up until the late 1950s the landscape had been a sceondary factor of his output. In his early works the landscape features often as a backdrop to the action of the foreground whether in his allegorical, portrait or genre works.
Bernard Smith wrote in 1970 that as "he began his new manner (around 1960), Perceval began to invent a truly novel interpretation of Australian bushland landscape. Radiant with high colour, it broke completely with the landscape of dry, open spaces, strange creatures and tough heroes which Drysdale, Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Tucker have made so well known during the last twenty yearsIn switching his attention from conceptual images to the pictorial problems of visual perception, Perceval has returned to one of the central problems of painting. It is a kind of action painting controlled by visual intuition rather than by non visual and subconscious processes of the mind." (B Smith, Australian Painting, Melbourne, 1971, p. 322)
"In the Landscapes of the early sixties the texture of the paint takes over more and more from the transcription of the bush. Details of flowers, hidden leaves and spikey branches are translated by feel into moulds and projections of paint.
These landscapes, although speckled with brilliant dots and patches, retain a tonal basis which holds them together; they are not tonal in the manner of the sombre landscapes of the 1940s. A basic colour is laid over most of the canvas and the details are built over, splattered on, dobbed on with the finger tip, worked on with a straw broom brush or flowed on with a smooth brush. The landscapes show an intoxication with the artist's materials and the act of painting." (M Plant, John Perceval, Melbourne, 1978, p.78)