‘I’m Done with Girls on Rocks.’

After painting dozens of successful calendar illustrations, Maxfield Parrish felt that his subjects were getting stale, and he wanted to paint pure landscapes for his own pleasure.

“I’m done with girls on rocks,” Parrish said in 1931. ” I’ve painted them for thirteen years and I could paint them and sell them for thirteen more. That’s the peril of the commercial art game. It tempts a man to repeat himself. It’s an awful thing to get to be a rubber stamp. I’m quitting my rut now while I’m still able.”

He continues: “Magazine and art editors—and the critics, too—are always hunting for something new, but they don’t know what it is. They guess at what the public will like, and, as we all do, they guess wrong about half the time. My present guess is that landscapes are coming in for magazine covers, advertisements and illustrations….”

“There are always pretty girls on every city street, but a man can’t step out of the subway and watch the clouds playing with the top of Mount Ascutney. It’s the unattainable that appeals. Next best to seeing the ocean or the hills or the woods is enjoying a painting of them.”

From Associated Press, April 27, 1931, quoted in the book Maxfield Parrish by Coy Ludwig, page 129.

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