Mount Washington, 2014, oil on cotton, 42 x 50
There is a road you can drive your own car straight up to the top of Mount Washington. At the beginning of the drive they give you a CD describing the history of the Mount Washington Auto Way as well as a bumper sticker that says "This Car Climbed Mt Washington." According the the CD, the Auto Way was completed in 1861, before the invention of dynamite, meaning the road was blasted through the Mt Washington granite using black powder! What chaos must have dictated the direction of the road.
I think a funny thing happened in the 19th century with landscape painters like Albert Bierstadt and Benjamin Champney. Their paintings contain reverence for the raw disorder and chaos that is the beauty in "untouched" nature, but the way they paint is so clean and precise, so planned and ordered, in a manner completely opposite the subject matter the are trying to capture. Its almost as if they are afraid of the disorder in nature and their painting is an attempt to turn it into something more manageable.