Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit is a feature length documentary that profiles the breathtaking art and complex life of artist, Maynard Dixon (1875-1946). The desert was Dixon's sanctuary, a timeless place where he could forget the hurried pace of his life in San Francisco. He would often leave his wife and children, his paying work in the city, and his friends in the bohemian art scene for months of solitary searching in the American West. Under the desert stars, Dixon wrote poetry. Under the desert sun, Dixon painted, sketched and drew. His travels took him to the camps and reservations of the Hopi and Navajo, where he was welcomed with reverence for his talent with pencil, crayon and paint. He lived with the Native Americans and his art became a language between two cultures. ''That sense of sun and space and silence - of serenity - of strength and freedom - if I can interpret that with what I can master of technical requirements, I will have reached the best of my endeavor,'' Dixon wrote.
Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit reveals the rich canvas of his life through insightful interviews with his family, friends and members of the art community. Dixon's sons, Daniel and John, share intimate recollections of their parent's complex relationship. Dixon's friends, artists Ray Strong and Milford Zornes, recall the unique character of Maynard Dixon. The film is enriched with over four-hundred Dixon paintings and drawings, portraits of Dixon taken by his lifelong friend, Ansel Adams and family photographs and rare audio by his second wife, celebrated photographer, Dorothea Lange. Dixon biographers, Donald J. Hagerty and Linda Jones Gibbs share their expertise on the personal struggles that Dixon overcame to continue his quest to record the vanishing West. Film locations include Montana, Utah, Arizona, California and New Mexico, bringing Dixon's paintings and drawings to life in the breathtaking panoramas of the land that he loved so deeply.
Here are two segments that showcase the film soundtrack by John McEuen, founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The speaking voice is Dixon scholar, Donald J. Hagerty, author of Desert Dreams, The Art and Life of Maynard Dixon. The second clip is narrated by Oscar-winner, Diane Keaton.
BRILLIANTLY DONE!" This Spur Award-winning documentary is simply outstanding, a vivid look at one of the West's great painters. Even if you're not familiar with the work of Maynard Dixon, this documentary is worth watching. The narrative is superb, and the subject is an artist whose story had to be told. A first-rate film! -Johnny D. Boggs, Santa Fe, NM
"A RARE JOURNEY!"
If this is a first introduction to this brilliant artist, how lucky is the viewer to meet Dixon this way. The film rolls out like a dream revealing the breadth of a man's life, his range of vision and depth of soul,as well as his passion for place.
McKay has exceeded the biographical film format. Somehow, this production raises the bar above any similar effort, in part due to the soundtrack, narration, script and sheer power of the sequence of images and intensity of the editing. A wonderful film to see, to own and to give. -C.J. Brown "Corinne", Denver, Co.
This is an extraordinary documentary about an extraordinary American artist. Jayne McKay's presentation is especially effective for several reasons. First, the film is remarkably rich in presenting visual material. Dixon's art--his oils, his watercolors, his sketches, and his murals--have a distinctive and powerful aesthetic appeal. McKay's inclusion of historical photographs, contemporary photographs, historical video footage, and contemporary video footage all help the viewer better understand the world in which Dixon lived. Second, Diane Keaton and cowboy singer Don Edwards provide professional and compelling narration. Third, Grammy-winner John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band wrote the accompanying soundtrack--one that is both soothing and sublime. Fourth, the documentary includes video interviews with Maynard Dixon's two sons and granddaughter; these interviews give ART AND SPIRIT an added intimacy and bring the viewer closer to Maynard Dixon himself. Finally, an perhaps most important, MAYNARD DIXON: ART AND SPIRIT is wonderfully successful in presenting not only Maynard Dixon's art, but also in presenting Maynard , Maynard Dixon the man, and the world--or worlds--in which Maynard Dixon lived.
Although we will never be able to fully understand the Maynard Dixon, this documentary--wonderfully written, visually rich, and emotionally intimate--probably brings us as close as we can hope to get to understanding, in a sublime and romantic sense, his art and spirit.
-Francis Flavin, Washington, D.C.
Jayne McKay's "Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit " is a beautiful and entertaining film, but more important it is a truthful and informative look at a pivotal individual, not only in the area of Western Art but as an important American artist in general.
Jayne approaches Maynard as a complete person, not just through his art works. The creations ( paintings, sketches, drawings, prints, etc. ) are shown in the context in which he lived and worked combined with a wonderful collection of personal period photography from childhood to his death. You don't just look at his life, you experience it with him.
The combination of powerful imagery, saturated with color, and a stimulating sound track helps to give a greater understanding of this sometimes flamboyant, moody, complex personality: Maynard Dixon, one of America's more inspirational masters. This film goes beyond the world of art; it is an important "must" for anyone with any interest in early 20th century American history. - Maurine St.Gaudens, Pasadena, Ca.
Masterful Tribute to a Legendary Artist
Jayne McKay's documentary is a thoughtful, careful crafting of the life, career, and of course, magnificent artwork of one of the foremost icons of art in the American West. Perhaps Maynard Dixon's most important works are those he produced in a highly personalized and subtly stylized form of modernism - where forms are distilled to their flattened essence and color is intensified and saturated to convey his response to the Western landscape he loved so much. In much the same way, McKay paints a visually compelling story that presents the essential details and impressions of Dixon's life and works in a manner that allows the viewer to become immediately drawn into, and held by, the narrative. In spite of the exhaustive number and complexity of resources utilized in the making of this film (including rare archival footage, extensive photographs, interviews with family, researchers, collectors and dealers, etc.) all are woven into a unified tapestry that allows the viewer to absorb a considerable amount of material in a relaxed, straightforward, and enjoyable manner. The visual anchor of the film is of course Dixon's art, presented mostly chronologically, lavishly, and unhurriedly. As biographer for artist Ray Strong, one of Dixon's close friends and students over the last decade plus of his life, I was especially delighted to see Strong's insightful commentary (delivered in grand style) blended into the film. Strong's direct experience with Dixon as a fellow artist of the 30s and 40s offers insights no others can provide: that from the artist's point of view. John McEuen's musical score seems to richly and appropriately capture the spirit and Western feel of the film, adding to it without intruding upon the story. The selection of Diane Keaton as narrator is a surprising, but effective choice - perhaps highlighting the importance of the various feminine muses in Dixon's life.
Mark Humpal, Portland, Ore
Maynard Dixon Art and Spirit
Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Maynard-Dixon-Spirit-Diane-Keaton/dp/B001J63PCO
Copyright © 2022 Maynard Dixon Art and Spirit - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy