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Mapping my home territory

  • 12” x 24”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $899

Here is a map of the territory I cross often, cruising from Kansas to northeast Missouri and Illinois. Theoretically, I could drop a boat in the Kansas River near me and float across Missouri then up the Mississippi River to my hometown area. Having walked and biked a bit along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the option of floating is appealing. But going against the current on the Mississippi River, watching for river traffic and running headlong into floating debris, is a different story. That’s where guides are nice. The Kansas River fortunately has an official Riverkeeper, who protects and teaches about the river. And you can also kayak with them. The organization is called Friends of the Kaw.

A list of places marked on this map painting are:
In Kansas: Lake Perry, Clinton Lake, Lawrence, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Kansas City, Kansas River, Leavenworth, Lansing and Atchison.

In Missouri: Canton, LaGrange, Palmyra, West Ely, Hassard, Monroe City, Indian Creek (Swinkey), Moberly, Kansas City, Ft. Osage, Arrow Rock, Boonville, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hermann, Weldon Springs, St. Louis, Clarksville, Louisiana, Hannibal

In Illinois: Quincy. Alton

In Iowa: Keokuk

Mapping the Mississippi

January 17, 2018

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  • 12” x 12”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $450

Maps offer an approach for learning about a place. The painting above shows the Mississippi River as it flows through it’s flood plane past Fort Madison and Keokuk, IA, Hamilton, IL, at its confluence with the Des Moines River, and past Canton, MO.

 

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        • 12” x 12”
        • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
        • $450
  • The above painting shows the Mississippi River and it’s flood plane passing Quincy, IL, Palmyra, Hannibal and Louisiana, MO.

 

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  • 12” x 12”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $450

The Mississippi River meets the Illinois and Missouri rivers either side of the town of Alton, IL in the painting above.

If all three painting are connected, they would look like the image below.

  • Special price for the three paintings – $1200.
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Triptych of the Mississippi River and it’s flood plane from Fort Madison, IA south towards St. Louis.

A Water Map

January 17, 2018

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Confluences of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri Rivers

  • 15.5” x 11.5”
  • Watercolor
  • $350 – unframed, $450 – framed

Midwest rivers carry valuable silt to the Gulf of Mexico making them thick and brown. Jokingly, we say “almost thick enough to plow”. Therefore it is with artistic license that I have painted the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers as crystal clear streams in this water map.

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Turkey Vulture

16.5” x 34.5” in the frame
Watercolor and ink on Watercolor paper
$950 framed

That naked red head, which resembles a turkey’s, allows this bird to eat carrion and not have any of the meal adhere to it. Their Latin (scientific) name is Cathartes aura meaning “cleansing breeze”. Large, but lightweight, these birds are able to fly high (airline captains report seeing them at 20,000 feet), soaring for hours without flapping their wings. The sight of this bird brings death to mind, and allows an appreciation for being alive.

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The Raven from Leadville, CO

  • 14” x 34” diptych, unframed
  • Charcoal on paper
  • $800, unframed

Ravens, scientific name Corvus corax, “raven croaker”, live 15-20 years in the wild, 20 – 40 years in captivity. Somewhere in my posts, I’ve written this story, but as Grandpa would say when reminded that he’d told that story, “I like telling it.”

Years ago I started asking random strangers if they had a bird story. The grocery checkout clerk said “No” but a young man behind me in line said “I have one”. He had recently returned from living in a small Alaskan village where he had observed ravens huddled for warmth around the village street light during the day. A solar eye only allowed the light to come on at night. But the ravens, understanding this, took turns covering the solar eye with a wing. He said a “raven shift” would last a few minutes, then another raven would take his/her place keeping the warming light on for others.

Naturally I wanted to draw a raven, but I had no access to specimens. The University of Kansas Natural History Museum contact could not have been nicer when I asked if I could draw a raven from their collection. I expected a posed, life-like bird, but instead I was led down a narrow corridor with floor to ceiling flat storage drawers filled with tagged raven specimens. I chose this one from Leadville, CO.

Turkeys in the Flint Hills

January 17, 2018

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Turkeys in the Flint Hills

  • 20” x 25”
  • Pastels on paper
  • $400 unframed, $550 framed

A magnificent bird in the wild. I can hear them nested high in trees when walking through a forest at night. Domestically raised turkeys have given rise to the moniker “turkey”. A friend raised genetically modified chickens meant to gain finish weight in 9 weeks. She said they would drown in a rainstorm. Domestic turkeys seem to have similar mental capacity. A film called “My Life as a Turkey” tells the story of Joe Hutto raising a group of wild hatchlings to adult turkeys. It’s a must see.

Dashiell

January 17, 2018

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Dashiell

  • 18” x 18”, approximate
  • Conte on paper
  • Private Collection

Dashiell’s namesake may or may not be the mystery writer, Mr. Hammett, but that’s what inspired Dash’s portrait. This noir drawing shows the subject dressed as a detective, the Sandia Mountains backlit by the rising moon which also lights the Rio Grande River as it flows past the playset. There’s a story in this somewhere. Maybe Dashiell will write it in a few years.