I’m so honored that Spirit of an Autumn Tree was selected for the 50th Annual Smoky Hill Art Exhibition in Hays. I have a special relationship with trees, because they are so uncommon here. I think Willa Cather described it best in her book My Antonia, “Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about then, and visit them as if they were persons.” I imagine this tree as my Cottonwood spirit clothed in the fading cloak of late summer leaves, resolutely facing the coming wind that will usher in change. It is acrylic with natural elements, including limestone, prairie soil and rainwater. The painting received the smoke of fallen leaves to symbolize change that comes to all deciduous trees. At such times, nature reminds us there is a time to let go.