The Art of Land and Sky

When I walk in nature, I find beauty in the little things… seeds, cedar berries, broken chunks of rocks. Those tend to catch my eye and we begin a conversation of sorts. A quiet exchange to thank the Creator and each other. I love to fold these tiny things into my paintings, knowing each represents a miracle. A reminder, that small things well nurtured can become great one day.

I grew up on the Kansas short grass prairie, where people have strong ties to the land. We notice the geese migrating; sense thunderstorms forming on the horizon; and take note when the Cottonwoods change. Because we depend on the land, it makes us keen observers.

From my studio on Fossil Lake, I study nature. Its cold moons, tenacious hawks, towering thunderstorms, and deeply rooted grass prove we can overcome great odds. The natural world also reminds us that we are connected to everything and each other.

Too often our busy lifestyles separate us from this knowing, so I aim to reconnect you to earth wisdom using organic elements. I begin each piece with  deep, hand-made stone foundations imbedded with organic material such as grain, grass and bark. This sets the stage for acrylic paint and more rich layers of earth material.

Iron oxidized to rust represents fleeting time.

Prairie soil suggests fallowness and rest.

Collected rainwater holds the power of the thunder beings.

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.

Stones are central to my art-making because they record earth history, evidence that this part of the world was once an ancient ocean. I love to wander the prairie for the perfect fossil-laden limestone, slowly grind it with a traditional mortar and pestle, then fold the grains into paint so the history of the land rests there.

It my hope that this art gives rise to a new interpretation of the American Prairie.

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