Why I Use Gathered Sage

For Oculus Moon, I wanted to the painting to strongly embody earth elements. It is a piece that sees within you and dares you to dream. I was drawn to use prairie sage collected in late summer with buds of a full growing season. I gathered the sage and left thanks of cornmeal to the land spirits then dried it in smudge sticks. Here I am burning and rubbing the sage onto the stone texture. I then added layers of rust so it has a solid, grounding feel.

Red Grass

I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away. The light and air abot me told me that the world ended here: only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass. Willa Cather, My Antonia

This field of red grass is made of hand-laid stone texture, acrylic and rust to remind you to be adventurous.

Gathering Wild Sage

Got some excellent fresh sage today for smudge sticks. I use the ash in art and I ❤️ what it does for the studio. Nearly stepped on a snake, but it was a friendly one.

Blue Moon

Growing up on the Kansas prairie strongly influenced my love of nature. Here it is so dark that the moon takes center stage amid a canopy of stars, inspiring wishes in the hushed silence. It inspired a new series of minimal moons featuring an orb of heavy stone on canvas molded with organic grain to form hundreds of tiny craters. I add a wee bit of purifying salt, oxidized iron and the cleansing smoke of white sage to inspire hopes and dreams.

Cedar Symbolism


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.

Turkey Tracks

A walk in the snow today revealed these turkey tracks and reminded me that winter is a time to slow down. The season often reveals things previously hidden to us.

Bird Totems

There is a lot of talk about spirit animals and how they can inspire us. For me, I pay attention when certain animals or birds cross my path and ask, “What do I need to know.” An occurrence I see often are large groupings of birds, such as these Canadian Geese, that swooped many times over my studio as I painted. The message received from nature often inspires my art.

Spirit of the Prairie Art Talk

Thank you to all the lovely people who attended the Spirit of the Prairie Art Talk at the gorgeous gallery of the Kansas Earth & Sky Candle Company in Ellinwood. I loved sharing why art with earth elements can help us reconnect to ancient earth wisdom and grow in community.

The Little Things

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, like wheat kernels, knowing each represents a miracle. A reminder, that small things well nurtured can become great one day.

Sandstone for Mark Making

Creating with the help from the Cretaceous period. Using some prairie sandstone for mark making on stone texture. Our dark brown, iron oxide sandstone is left over from an ancient ocean.