Walter Elmer Schofield, Morning Light, Tujunga
Schofield traveled a great deal in his life. As a young man he worked on a ranch in Texas in order to experience the rugged American frontier, and in the mid-1930s he traveled to Southern California. There, he made a group of paintings of Tujunga Canyon and the Grand Tujunga ranch, which lie to the northeast of Los Angeles. Morning Light, Tujunga depicts the colorful West Coast landscape. The vivid blues, greens, and oranges are applied in a loose and open manner, suggesting the artist's embrace of modernist approaches to painting.
In a series of radio talks given in the autumn of 1934, the artist outlined the attractions of working and teaching in California, among which were the particular trees found there:
“There is no doubt in my mind that the State of California and particularly Southern California is a perfect Paradise for the out-of-doors painters. Coupled with the wonderful climate there is a great diversity of physical features. The numerous canyons each having a separate charm. The splendid coastline and the many natural parks with the wealth of trees, oak, pepper, sycamore, eucalyptus, etc. I have never seen finer sycamore trees that are to be found in Irvine Park, silvery white with far-flung limbs, intermingled with oaks eucalyptus, and many others. And a riot of color too. Could anything be more tempting to the landscape painter than these grand old sycamore against a sky of purest blue.”