Weirdly the first thing that popped into my head from this prompt was binoculars. Since I didn’t know how to portray those in an interesting and appealing way, I looked for another interpretation of the word. I ended up going with a more traditional understanding of it.

In this painting I added a little twist by making the view that is seen resemble the famous Windows XP default wallpaper image of rolling hills, Bliss, taken in 1996 by former National Geographic photographer Charles O’Rear on his way to see his girlfriend, now wife of 20+ years. The virtually unedited photograph depicts California’s Wine Country and was bought by Microsoft to be used in their operating system released in 2001. There’s a video on YouTube that tells more of the image’s serendipitous story.

I used this image as a nod to how we increasingly experience the world via digital representations of it. Without making any value judgements, one can’t deny the modern urge to capture our environment in order to share or relive our experiences through those portrayals. I enjoy the irony of staring at a beautiful landscape through the lens of a camera or a computer monitor. Or, in this case, eXPeriencing it through Windows.