William Keith and the California Alps

Brenda T. Weitzman

When walking into the welcome center of the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA there is a small alcove type space off to the side which houses Keith’s amazing portrait the California Alps. The inspiration for this portrait is not actually any part of Yosemite national park but rather Keith idealized the California Mountains in this painting. The portrait is located in an area where it commands the attention of anyone passing by.

Keith is a master at using different forms of light in his paintings and this is very apparent in the light that is hitting the mountains. Then the light fades into darker shades as it hits the lower forest and finally it comes to full brilliance as it illuminates the grassy area in the forefront of the painting. “The California Alps” also portrays the native American life as it would have been in its early years. He shows a small Indian village with tepees that is along a river. Keith had an eye for capturing the mountains of Yosemite National Park and in his painting “The California Alps” he brought this skill to full fruition. As mentioned earlier it is his use of light that gets the viewers attention when passing by this large painting. Somehow Keith was able to perfectly attain the right colors for his painting and deftly apply them to create a remarkable work or art.

Simply by looking at the masterpieces created by Keith one can better appreciate the world around them. This is not limited to nature alone but also to the complexity of the human mind and the creative products it is capable of making. Painting is a talent that not many people have, and furthermore many of those that have the talent have never taken the time to develop it.

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