Nature shows us how to navigate change in the shifting sandbars of a river. Sediment allows waters to shape it into new beings without resistance. This piece is my expression of the Smoky Hill an her sandbars, a slow river that meanders through some of the prettiest parts of the American High Plains. It has pieces of Smoky Hill River clay which embody hundreds of miles of fertile soil that builds the vast grassland. Also contains stone, acrylic and and rust. May it inspire you to go with the flow.
Warm growing months are nature’s chorus of vibrant life and hopefulness. The perfect time to sit outside and watch the stars drift under the enveloping light of a glowing moon. This homage to the season of renewal has stone texture, grain, rust, paint and ash of budded field sage, harvest by hand at the peak of growing season so all that delightful energy is there. I finished the painting on the eve of the summer full moon, the perfect combo to warm nights and fireflies. Wishing you a bright sky and goodness.
Like most people who live in tornado alley, I’ve seen my fair share. The truth is, lives are irrevocably changed by tornadoes. They are ferocious beasts of twisting, beautiful wind, laying bare the world. The best tornadoes skip along the open prairie, harming none, and mesmerizing us with their intensity. The worst, leave a path of destruction. My rendition invites you to consider whether the energy coiled deep within you is used to destroy or dance upon the world. Made of stone, prairie plant ash, clay, rust and paint.
One of my favorite sayings attributed to Martin Luther is even if I knew that tomorrow the world would end, I would still plant my apple tree. What a lovely affirmation in uncertain times, for it draws us toward the innate goodness of things. My rendition of a garden patch invites you to consider what seeds you wish to plant. With stone, rust and paint.
In the midst of life’s curious and sometimes harsh ways, I turn to English anchoress Julian of Norwich who said, “All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.”
To me, the cross symbolizes faith but also a visual reminder of the path we walk, often finding ourselves at a crossroads in difficult times. I chose the color goldenrod to represent glorious sunrises that eventually bring an end to even the darkest night. It has stone texture embedded with wheat harvested from the Tatkenhorst family farm near Natoma, Kansas and is glazed with the fresh ash of Eastern Red Cedar and white prairie sage for purity. I ladened it with with organic rust to remind us time is fleeting.
May it inspire you to walk confidently in hope and good spirit.
SOLD to an amazing Kansas farm family.
I call this dreamy Moon of the Kindred Spirits, for it celebrates springs blossoms. Now is the time the natural world puts away winter’s mantle, and steps from solace and quiet into light. The plant and animal spirits are gathering in community for a new season of growth. Made with stone texture, paint, rust and fresh prairie plant ash to inspire kinship and dreaming.
I call this painting Moon of the Wise Woman because it honors the last full moon of winter, the end of the dark season of the year. I painted it in the days leading to the full moon of March 2020, a super moon full of promise and an invitation to put into action what we have learned. The painting is a mysterious dark green-grey, like old slate covered with golden moss. To me, it looks like ancient stone that has endured through the ages. The color was created from the alchemical process of paint oxidizing with iron to create rust on weathered paint.
March coincides with the annual burning of the prairie, so I incorporated the ash of hand-gathered Indian grass, Eastern red cedar, field yarrow and prairie sage. I was surprised in the end that the painting actually closely resembled the color of the dried yarrow, an ancient herb symbolizing healing, power and protection. The painting spent time in the elements under a strong Kansas wind to blend the drying rust organically.
May this moon inspire you to acknowledge the gift of wisdom and the promise it gives.
A piece for the upcoming McPherson College show celebrating the women’s suffragette movement. It’s called They Promised Her the Moon. Inspired by my great grandmothers, who like many women, left home and journeyed West toward a new life. By day, women walk diverse paths, but at night we gaze at a common moon. A shared time to gather ourselves before beginning again. In honor of this sisterhood, I created a large moon of stone texture embedded with grain to represent growth. Rust to symbolize the fleeting nature of time and a glaze of Kansas quartz for love. It has the cleansing smoke of hand-gathered prairie sage to inspire wisdom on our path.