I’m curious about deer. I often see them trod a familiar path to Fossil Lake, blending into the cedars as they move toward water. At dawn, they stand in the fallow field communing among the aged stalks of grain. When deer sense danger, silently, without word, they return to the thicket like wraiths. Rambling toward their safe place, hidden deep in the woods. This piece pays homage to that place of refuge, when it is no longer safe. It is constructed of darkened earth pigments surrounded by paths of handmade stone texture embedded with grain, along with oxidized iron, acrylic and prairie soil, eroded with stone. Together, the elements remind us retreat to our center when in need.
There is a Zuni proverb that says, “With the first thunder the gods of rain open their petals.” How lovely the thought, that spring’s first thunder ushers in a new season for all things. This piece is my homage to first thunder, a signal that the land is once again renewing. It is acrylic with handmade stone texture, embedded grain, and earthen elements, including prairie limestone, iron, soil, Eastern Red cedar and plant ash to honor growth.
Inspired by springtime on the American Prairie, this painting invites you to wander the greening land, connected to a thousand wild things. It is boldly formed, with handmade stone texture embedded with organic corn to mimic the undulating grassland. Every year, I collect wild sage from the pasture and this piece contains burnt ash, as well as earth pigment, iron oxidized to rust, ground limestone and acrylic. Together, the elements symbolize the land as a strong refuge. Sold to an amazing collector in California.
This piece celebrates the shortgrass prairie. The root system of prairie plants are deep. Often with more biomass below than above, they preserve the soil, and in doing so, nature reminds us of the importance of inner strength. Made with stone texture and colored with earth pigments, iron, acrylic and the fresh ash of Eastern Red cedar.
This piece honors St Brigid’s Day (Feb 1), also known as Imbolc, the traditional Celtic start of spring. A lovely time when Earth turns toward warmth. It marks the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox, an important cross-quarter of the Wheel of the Year and observance of the seasons. Imbolc comes from the old Irish word “in the belly” and refers to the pregnancy of ewes. Tradition encourages one to drape a shawl on the eve of Imbolc, asking Brigid to bless new births. My version pays homage to Celtic spring with a cloak of grass made of tiny seeds embedded in limestone with earth pigments, iron and acrylic.
Eastern Red Cedar is a symbol of the American Prairie. It is a survivor, growing where other trees cannot thanks to roots that extend deep into the earth. As the prairie’s evergreen, it reminds us to be strong even in difficult conditions. I love to collect fresh boughs and burn them into ash. I finely grind the powder and use it in the painting so the the spirit of the cedar rests in the art and conveys its strength and goodness.
Each plains storm has its own personality. This is my rendition of a pale winter storm harnessing the power of the setting sun. It contains elements to balance Earth and Sky, including rainwater, limestone, natural pigments and topsoil. Inspired by a passage from celebrated Great Plains author Willa Cather, “The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.” So pleased this piece went to a lovely couple in Arkansas.
This painting is made entirely of limestone and sandstone from Russell County, Kansas. I painted in an antique grain sack. Today it sold to a beautiful couple for their new limestone house. It could not had found a better home. I am enormously grateful and hope it gives you much joy.