In 1962, Bernice Bing moved north from San Francisco to work as a caretaker for a vineyard near the Mayacamas mountains in Napa Valley. She stayed for four years through 1966, and in the 1980s moved north again to Philo in Mendocino County. Bing regularly returned to painting the landscape as a spiritual exploration; as she stated, “All nature is pure, and purely abstracted; the spiritual union links both the seen and unseen forces of nature.”
These landscape works are also informed by painting traditions in east Asia. They recall the famed peaks of China’s Yellow Mountains and relate to the dramatic expressions common to Chinese landscape painting. In Bing’s Blue Mountain, No. 2, for example, hovering clouds transform massive mountains into floating islands.