My art is inspired by the land’s ancient stone and unpredictable storms. Elemental forces that speak to eternity and transformation. Made with hand-gathered materials, including limestone, plant ash, soil and sod.
Meet the Artist
Welcome to my studio at Fossil Lake.
I’m an American Prairie artist inspired by the elemental forces of storms, moons, and cedars bowing in the wind. The call of the wild, so to speak. I grew up on the western plains where people have a special connection to the land.
We notice the geese migrating.
Sense the cottonwoods changing.
Respect the power of storms.
Plains energy is primordial, thanks to fossil-laden limestone foundations, a remnant of the ancient ocean that existed here. It forms a bedrock that stretches as far as the eye can see. A giant slate of sky and earth where one can contemplate the infinite.
Kansas is named after the Kaw People, meaning People of the South Wind. The winds very much define my work and I how I see nature. During the north wind, I am drawn to the muted colors of winter and dormant plants that teach us to rest and renew. In the time of the south wind, the atmosphere is electric with towering thunderheads that inspire more visceral work. Throughout, I paint moons because they cycle through the sky and remind us that we are never stuck in one place. We can transform.
I like to think my work is a bit alchemical, weaving together elements that speak to impermanence. I begin each painting with hand-made stone foundations imbedded with organic material such as gathered grain, grass and found bark to form deep texture. I cleanse the painting with sage and cedar throughout. This sets the stage for acrylic paint and rich layers of earth material.
Iron oxidized to rust represents fleeting time.
Prairie soil suggests fallowness and rest.
Collected rainwaters symbolize the power to renew.
Ash, smoke and cedar berries contain sacred plant medicine.
Found cottonwood bark holds the secrets of the whisper tree.
Natural pigments and native grass are also used.
Limestone and sandstone record the earth history.
Those who live on the prairie are its stewards, mindful that the land is ours for but for a little while. It is my hope that this artistic interpretation gives rise to a new vision of the American Prairie.