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About the work

California’s Big Sur was once referred to as ‘el país grande del sur,’ which means "the big country of the south." For many years in my twenties, Big Sur was my escape from the madness of life in San Francisco. It is impossible to feel anything but tiny in the grandiosity of this landscape with its sheer bluffs and ocean views that extend endlessly into the horizon. The bridge-like feature at the top of the painting draws from the famed Bixby Bridge which grants access to the stunning coastline below, but it also symbolizes the nature of my time in Big Sur - always slightly marred by the knowledge that my time there was precious as the demands of my urban life tugged at my subconscious. Trips to Big Sur always felt like opportunities to practice quieting that voice, to let the vastness of the landscape say what it needed to say.

Signature: Signed in pencil lower right and titled lower left

Medium: Reproduction archival print


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Big Country of the South

Noelle Phares

Big Country of the South