Mahonri Young’s drawing invites the viewer to experience this fall day alongside the farmer plowing the field. The immediate foreground and sky are depicted in soft water-colored green and gray, intensifying the autumnal colors of the trees and field. You can almost feel the cold breeze against your face and the smell of woodsmoke in the air.
Young, having spent a portion of his youth working on his uncle’s ranch, was particularly interested in farm scenes. In this image, the farmer is almost lost in the color and strokes of the field, emphasizing the connection between the man and the land where he works. The strong horses, while standing out against the oranges, yellows, and browns of the landscape, mimic the shape of the large trees behind them, creating continuity between the natural world and the labor of the animals.
Guest author: Curatorial intern Spencer Anderson