It can be fascinating to look back at the path you've walked in your life. When I was a young man, working my way toward my mature painting style, I fell under the influence of artists who would point me in directions I would later make my own. In my student days, I discovered the work of the great American landscape painters like Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt, and Frederick Church as well. Their ability to imbue landscape with spiritual qualities delighted and inspired me.
The Edge of the Wilderness, an epic work created while I was still in my twenties, reflects my early experiments with creating a sublime landscape style all my own. The painting was clearly inspired by early masters of the mythology of the American West, but it also displays the distinctive touches that would define my later works.
I placed my frontier camp under a majestic peak on the shores of a sylvan mountain lake. The presence of boats on the shore suggests the harmony of man and nature, as it does in many of my mature landscapes. This is one of my many early works to feature a Native American tepee, and smoke curls up from it into the autumn sunset much as it will from the chimneys of more conventional dwellings.The Edge of the Wildernessis a landmark from the earliest days of my career as the Painter of Light.