PROVENANCE: With The Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach, California Private collection, Southern California
Granville Redmond was stricken with scarlet fever when he was two. He lost his hearing, but was fortunate to maintain his eyesight. It has often been suggested that Redmond's hearing loss gave his paintings a particularly quiet and peaceful effect.
From 1910 to 1917, Granville Redmond lived and painted in a variety of Northern California locations. It was some time during this period that Redmond turned to painting his renowned, highly colorful wildflowers compositions. There were undoubtedly wildflowers galore in the spring months throughout the California countryside, and Redmond must have found it difficult not to incorporate the colors into his landscapes. As with many of the painters of the day, Redmond's style was influenced by the French and East Coast Impressionists. West Coast critics of the day noted his use of Pointillism and likened his art to that of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro.
By the 1920's the promotion of California as a destination was in full swing. Advertisers used images of bountiful orange groves and fields of wildflowers to show off the beauty of the sunshine state and to encourage visitors. Redmond's paintings were used as part of this promotion and soon his works were recognized across the country. Interest by dealers for his wildflower paintings rose quickly and the artist found it difficult to keep up with the demand.
In 1917 Redmond moved back to Southern California, in part to try out his pantomime skills in Hollywood. He became friends with Charlie Chaplin and even assisted him in training for The Little Tramp. Redmond had a studio on Chaplin's lot and even appeared in some of his films, most notably as the white haired sculptor in City Lights.
Redmond also maintained a studio in rustic Topanga Canyon around this time, and in the last decades of his life, his sunny scenes of Southern California remained popular with collectors as Impressionism remained in vogue in California long after it had been displaced by other styles elsewhere.
Valley Spendor is a dramatic example of Redmond's quintessential style and bold use of color. Drawing on the contours of the California hills, Redmond fills the canvas with pointillist dabs of bright color and washes of shadows. The result is a universally appealing scene, incorporating all of the elements of a classic California plein air painting.