Label Text: Florence White Williams often depicted the serenity and simple beauty of the Midwestern landscape. In Distant Hills, delicate trees, a fresh blue sky, and windblown grasses create a peaceful, inviting scene. The rugged, sandy terrain leads into a familiar landscape, likely Indiana or Michigan dunes. Subtle reds, oranges, and ochres hint at the end of summer and the coming of autumn. The high, midday sun illuminates the tops of the trees and warms the valley below.
The Vermont-born artist studied Impressionist techniques at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Typical of Impressionist painters at the time, the use of stroke and color is prioritized. In Distant Hills, the textured layers of paint delicately transition from foreground to background. The strong use of greens and violets move the eye throughout the scene while textured brush strokes add dimension and depth to the forest below.
Williams established a career in Chicago as a painter, teacher, designer, and illustrator of children’s books. She was active in several Chicago and Illinois artist associations and exhibited work across the country, earning multiple awards and acknowledgments. Williams’ illustrations for the 1924 edition of Anna Sewell’s popular novel, Black Beauty, may be her most widely recognized work.