This is a very simple subject. A man and his dog sit on a hilltop to enjoy the first or last sun of the day. The two are static, like lumps. They look like porcelain figures set into the scene. But the abstracted landscape around them is filled with energy.
And it is the landscape they see that gives the painting life. I love the deep expressionistic cuts of the hills going down to the deep green between, the yellow fire from the sun, especially as it illuminates the hilltops, the gray of the sky, and, of course, the brushstrokes that energize it all.
The painting does not make me feel so much like I know the man as that I know the wonder that he and his dog are experiencing. It makes me remember a time as a boy when I sat with my dog on a hill in a pasture well behind our house. A hill that marked the watershed between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico. And I looked out over the hills beyond.
With another artist, I might suspect sentimentality. But I find the strong feeling in Bunt’s paintings to be sincere. However complicated his life may actually be, I believe he lives a simple and appreciative life when he paints. And his paintings make me happy.