A quintessential Western image is shown in The Horse Corral, a spontaneous watercolor by Maynard Dixon. Growing up as a cowboy, Dixon spent his early life riding and roping in the Central Valley of California. Life was difficult and rough in the vast, sun-drenched valley, but it was a way of life that Dixon revered. Spending the majority of his life on the Western frontier, Dixon was aware that the old life he knew was disappearing into a modern and populous society. With this new modern society, came modern art, and Dixon balked at the popular styles of many American artists, who romanticized the western frontier primarily for an East Coast audience. Dixon's portrayal of the American West reflects his own attitudes and artistic imagination, which brought the current contemporary art movements to a new horizon. He captured, through his unique approach to painting, this fading way of life in very realistic terms. "He did a series of watercolors, mostly on Western life scenes, and perfected his watercolor technique. They were beautiful watercolors, very fresh and clear, and his techniques suited the themes that he was using." (D. Hagerty, Edith Hamlin, A California Artist, interview, Davis, California, 1981, p. 76) This lyrical watercolor accurately demonstrates the difficult and dangerous life of the cowboys, while capturing the movement of the horses and the cowboys together as a symphony color and light.