After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago under William Merritt Chase, Marion Kavanagh Wachtel migrated westward, finally settling in Pasadena on the banks of the Arroyo Seco. It was here that she and her husband, Elmer Wachtel, painted, exhibited, and gathered with the local artists who were already depicting the splendor of the Southern California landscape.
From their studio-residence in Pasadena, the Wachtels traveled extensively throughout California and the Southwest, by car, horseback, and often on foot. On these excursions, they painted and sketched the magnificent and varied landscapes of the region, from the flat, arid deserts of New Mexico and Arizona to the verdant, rocky mountainsides of the High Sierras. The present work is a superlative example of Wachtel's finest work. The subtle palette of pale greens, blues, and purples, depict both the grace and majesty of the natural landscape. Wachtel painted directly from nature and the present painting masterfully demonstrates the artist's virtuosity as a California Impressionist of the first order.