O’Life Prosper Me

“Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.” American author, Willa Cather
That’s how I think of the American Prairie, a great underpinning to the firmament. The land here is a deep plain of inky soil from which life springs and prospers. I painted this piece at the time of the spring equinox, when the wheel of the year turns toward life. To symbolize this great greening from the depths, I created a canvas of handmade stone texture embedded with Kansas grain, then applied layers of thick, tarry earth pigments, oxidized iron and airy acrylic. It’s blended and eroded with natural stone slabs. Together, the elements remind us shed that which no longer serves and grow.

Three Sections of Grain

This piece is inspired by American Author Willa Cather who wrote in O Pioneers!, “We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it — for a little while.”
Farming on the Great Plains is divided neatly into sections, each 640 acres. Subdivided into halves and quarters. Viewed from the sky, the land is a patchwork of neatly cultivated squares of winter wheat, corn, beans and milo. This piece honors those who work the land, battling the elements to bring forth tiny seeds into harvest. It is not an easy profession, dependent upon the disposition of nature. But those who live off the land have a special relationship to it, an understanding that for a while, they are great stewards of this marvelous creation. The painting is constructed of handmade stone texture with embedded grain, plant ash, burnt cottonwood, Kansas soil, earth pigments and yellow-green acrylic with specks of puddely blue.