Sentinel of the Sierras
Like the Hudson River School painters, McCarthy brings back drawings and watercolor sketches from his travels and creates the final oil painting in his studio. He explains, "A photograph for me is just this mechanical instant that is too limiting. So much more can be distilled into a sketch." Also, like those earlier artists, he isn't above re-arranging nature to suit his composition: of one painting, he says, "The pinnacle on the left was behind me but I moved it over to give the view a 360 degree type of view." His career can probably be summed up in his own words: "What I am trying to do is to capture the peoples imagination, not just their attention."