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Why did Maxfield Parrish spend so much time painting tiny crevasses in rocks in the backgrounds of his paintings?
Parrish was a fabulously successful illustrator. He earned over $100,000 per year in an era when houses cost only $2,000. His time was so valuable, you'd think he would've found a shortcut for the menial labor of painting tiny crevasses in dumb rocks. (More at http://illustrationart.blogspot.nl/2016/09/respect-for-rocks.html)
Maxfield Parrish (July 25, 1870 – March 30, 1966); American painter and illustrator active in the first half of the 20th century. Known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the son of painter and etcher Stephen Parrish. His mother was Elizabeth Bancroft. He began drawing for his own amusement as a child. He was raised in a Quaker society. His given name was Frederick Parrish, but he later adopted the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Maxfield, as his middle name, and later as his professional name. Young Parrish's parents encouraged his talent. In 1884, his parents took Parrish to Europe. He toured England, Italy, and France. Parrish was exposed to architecture and the paintings from the old masters. They returned in 1886. During their travels, however, Parrish studied at the Paris school of a Dr. Kornemann.
...Parrish moved with his wife in 1898 to Cornish, New Hampshire and built a home that was later nicknamed "The Oaks." The home was surrounded by beautiful landscapes that inspired Parrish's drawings.
He suffered of tuberculosis for a time in 1890. While sick, he discovered how to mix oils and glazes to create vibrant colors. From 1900 to 1902, he painted in Saranac Lake, New York, and Hot Springs, Arizona to further recover.
Parrish entered into an artistic career that lasted for more than half a century, and which helped shape the Golden Age of illustration and American visual arts. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxfield_Parrish)