For the first thirty-something years of this Florida girl’s life, I never really experienced mountains. And when I did, it was only the foothills of the Smokies. Then I visited Mr. F while he was living in Seattle and I saw the Olympics. And the Cascades. And we snowshoed in April on Mt. Rainier and I fell in love with Mr. F and those glorious snow-capped peaks! This series of paintings by artist David Pirrie have me longing for those jagged, snowy crests.
Pirrie doesn’t just paint mountains, but hikes and climbs them, too, which any hiker will tell you creates a bond between man and mountain. Hard work and endurance pays off in little seen vistas, in a feeling of intimacy with these monumental stacks of earth. His use of dots and bright, flat color not only decontextualize the mountains from the surrounding landscape but also nods to the iconic status these looming peaks achieve. On a sunny day in Seattle, you’ll hear locals proclaim “The mountain is out!” and every one knows what that means. The clouds have broken and Mt. Rainier can be seen looming surrealistically over the city skyline, dwarfing everything around it.
There is something magnetic about these formations, the mountains call to us like sirens, we see them from afar and somehow know that there is magic within their being. The mountains are calling and we must answer.