Along the Way

April 9, 2018

Along the Way, April 8, 2018 - Copy

Along the Way

  • 30” x 30”, Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
  • $3500
  • Prints may be ordered. Price depends on size.

    “Along the Way” only exists because this canvas was wounded. A commissioned portrait fell off the easel, denting a corner. The damage reminded me of old treasure maps. Following the idea, I began researching stories (our dearest treasures) from my home area around the Mississippi River and along the way, this painting developed. In the upper left of the panel the Upper Mississippi River Valley is illustrated, including Great Lakes Superior and Michigan. The stories are rooted in the highlighted area of the map. They are the myths, legends, histories, experiences, ideas that came while the painting developed.
    The viewer brings another point of view to the painting.Images include:

  • A flock of migrating Mallard ducks seen from above as they fly over the
    rhythmic patterns found in farm country
  • The unpredictable wind demon, the tornado
  • Red outlined Native American burial mounds found north of Canton, MO
  • A bison overlooks a flooded plain
  • The West Quincy floodplain shows a home, silo and a Spam truck, stories
    from the flood of 1993
  • S.H. Tuley’s steam powered thresher with crew and horses at work
  • Migrating snow geese fly throughout the painting
  • Migrating Monarch butterflies are found throughout the painting
  • Potawatomie Native Americans “Trail of Death” walk from IN to KS in the fall of 1838
  • Sites of toxic industries
  • Hannibal, MO before settlement
  • Fire and prairie with Butterfly Milkweed
  • Mark Twain Lake and portions of the Salt River before it merges with the Mississippi River
  • Samuel Clemens birthplace, a state historical site near Mark Twain Lake
  • Images of slavery. The red (out)lines indicate some current policies that restrict advancement
  • The Picture Cave, on private land, the cave walls are filled with images. It was a sacred place for Native Americans who once lived here
  • The Missouri River cuts across the lower left corner of the map
  • Some crops raised in this region: apple, soybeans, corn, wheat, grapes
  • Rhythmic patterns of cultivated land
  • Trains travel along the waterways, one carrying a future energy source, fins of wind turbines
  • Checkerboard pattern indicating a large city
  • At the top center is an image of Mormons crossing the Mississippi River in the winter of 1838 and 1839 under threat of death from Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs
  • The Copper Trail follows the Mississippi River. Native Americans created beautiful objects from the material
  • Ice Age hills
  • Woolly Mammoth
  • Catfish is eagle’s dinner
  • Birch-bark canoe and me on the water
  • Old ferry boat
  • Tug pushes barges up the river
  • Lincoln-Douglas debate in Quincy, IL
  • Potawatomie blanket, a robe of fine dress, beautifully crafted
  • Soapstone pipe, Native American
  • Mama bear and cub
  • Buck
  • Trail through a sun dappled old-growth forest
  • Coyote howls at the full moon as it rises above the river
  • Native American Stone River Map
  • Rock with a pictograph of a water panther from the Native American tradition
  • Nettle plant with roots
  • Paddle-wheeler ruins buried in the soil
  • Male turkey
  • Native American Mound Village. Cahokia tells a good story about this civilization.

What’s Time to a Pig?

December 5, 2016

whats-time-to-a-pig-web-501x600

  • 12′ X 9” approximately
  • Mixed media including watercolor and colored pencil

A small drawing with meaning for the pictured couple. They raise livestock on their farm and this story is a family favorite.

A farmer stood up in an apple tree holding her pig. A man, passing by, asked what she was doing. “Feeding my pig” she replied holding the pig up so the pig could snag another apple off the branch. The man said, “Doesn’t it take a long time to feed a pig that way? The farmer’s response, “What’s time to a pig?”

On Target

  • Oil on Ampersand 2″ Cradle Board
  • 48″ x 24″, diptych
  • In a private collection
  • 24″ x 12″ (image size) digital prints available for purchase – $395

Whenever I drive through Hannibal, Missouri, I like to take the time to savor some part of the place. If I’m lucky, it is time with a friend, but there are many pleasures including spectacular views of the Mississippi River and it’s eastern valley. On one occasion I was at the lighthouse when I noticed a sign inviting me into a neighboring artist’s studio. The woman was a weaver and with every shuttle thrust to weave the weft, she spoke the intention that the patron had requested. Many created works are full of intention. “On Target” was created as a representation of gratitude for life’s blessings and a visual representation of future goals. There’s power in visualizing our intentions and I appreciate the opportunity to create paintings around them.

Hedge Apple on Scratchboard

February 13, 2010

Hedge Apple

  • Scratchboard and Ink
  • 7″ x 5″
  • $350

Last fall Hedge Apples littered the forest path where I was walking. In the past I’ve gathered them to store in the corner of a shed to discourage mice. It didn’t work. Now I gather them to study their pattern. And just as Dr. Seuss’ Horton heard a “Who”, I expect to hear them too. The hedge ball or apple becomes a world unto itself floating in space.

Sunday Morning

October 20, 2009

Sunday Morning
“Sunday Morning”

“Sunday Morning” as it should be; lazy, loads of treats and lots of possibilities.

Three Apples

July 22, 2009

Three Apples

Three Apples

  • 9″ x 12″
  • Oil on Canvas
  • In the collection of BR

Three Apples is a simple composition, loosely painted or as some might say, a painterly style.

Robert Henri is one of my favorite “painterly” painters. He grew up in the frontier Nebraska town founded by his father, John J. Cozad in 1871, then named Cozaddale, now just Cozad. It stands on the 100th meridian, which was the end of the line at the time for the railroad.  There you’ll find a Robert Henri Museum. How his name changed from Cozad to Henri is a tale harrowing to live through, but good for the telling.

Three Apples was gifted to a doctor who, perhaps, saved my sister’s life because he knew how to read a lab report. At least he saved her from suffering at the hands of the incompetent.

Remembering Family

June 19, 2009

MikeWell
Remembering Family

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 24″ x 36″
  • In the collection of M/CW
  • Digital Prints available, 12″ x 18″ image size, $395, Contact the artist.

Remembering Family was commissioned as a gift. The client liked the Winds of Time with pictures floating through the painting. The memories include two old friends (Dad and Uncle) remembered. When they were together, they enjoyed Chianti wine with cheese and apples. There are parents, young and old, a young child, a championship dog, a westie, echinacea, the city park that the family had established and the family farm.

Corn Painting

June 9, 2009

Autumn Harvest

Autumn Harvest

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 24″ x 30″
  • In the collection of KH

stilllifeonkansasriversmall1

Still Life on the Kansas River

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 24″ x 36″
  • $4975
  • Limited edition of 500, archival paper, 12″ x 18″ digital prints – $395,  plus shipping
  • Contact the artist.

The Kansas River is rising tonight. Our son, Nat, is the boatman for the University. He spent the afternoon at the boathouse preparing for high water. Growing up on the Mississippi River, I’ve seen floodwater bend the spine of a storage silo once standing at perfect attention. Every ten years or so that mighty river would break through the Corp’s levy system and reclaim some of the territory it once seasonally replenished with new soil. I’ve always appreciated the power and loved the beauty of the rivers.

Still Life on the Kansas River is a view of downtown and north Lawrence, Kansas, from Burcham Park. Lightning bugs, butterfly and a snail share space with a universal night sky, a sunset, moonflowers and sunflowers. Human companionship and simple pleasures are saluted. But there is an edginess to the painting because it’s hard to tell exactly where the water ends and the fabric begins in the still life.