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:

Small (12″ x 12″ w/ 1″ border) $195
Medium (20″ x 20″ w 1″ border) $295
Large (30″ x 30″ w/ 2″ border) $450
Extra large (40″ x 40″ w/ 2″ border) $800

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.
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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.

Whispers

July 13, 2016

Whispers_med

    • Watercolor plus mixed media

    • 14” x 34”, plus mat and frame

    • $1250

  • Giclée (Digital) Print, Signed, on Archival Paper

Small (10.5” x 25.5” w/ 2″ border) $295
Medium (14″ x 34″ w/ 2″ border) $495
Large (16″ x 40″ w/ 2″ border) $750

Whispers is a painting of Eighth Street storefronts in Baldwin City, Kansas. Maple leaves float through the air, freshened after a passing storm. The contemporary street scene shows folks going about their business, enjoying life. Then there are images of the past. Vaguely visible are fossils, Native Americans, activity on the Santa Fe Trail, John Brown as depicted by J.S. Curry, Black Jack Battlefield in 1856, women’s bridge, historic Baker University building, Bibles, bison, log cabin, quilters and the open prairie.

Grands 2016

July 13, 2016

Grands, colored pencilGrandchildren – 2016

  • Colored Pencil on Illustration Board
  • 16″ x 20″
  • NFS

A snapshot in time using a Josef Albers color exercise. Albers’ teaches us to step out of the comfortable and allow for insight. This piece plays with gravity, space and perception.

Living on the edge of the prairie offers an escape to a place of wonder. Wendell Berry, author and bioregionalist, says, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”

The largest remaining stand of tallgrass prairie is found in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma. The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has created the Maps in the Schools project. The maps will hang in the schools of the Flint Hills showing their particular location and, depending on the grade level, speak to some special aspect of the place, the life, the history and/or the science.

Some (and definitely not all) of the folks working on the project are Emily Connell – Director; Annie Wilson – Project Coordinator and High School Program Educator; Pam Collinge – Middle School Educator; Molly Wold – Elementary Educator; John Dunham – Mapmaker; Laura Zimney – Graphic Designer. If you are interested in knowing more about the project, contact the Flint Hills Discovery Center Map and Education Program.

High School Flint Hills Illustration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School Illustration

  • Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
    and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School Map

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Middle School

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project Middle School Illustration

    •  Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
    • 31” x 17.25” illustration
    • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
      and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall

There are over 50 things to identify in this Middle School illustration. An ID chart will be available in the educational materials that accompany the maps.

Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Middle School Illsutration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Middle School

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Elementary Illustration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Elementary Illustration

  •  Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
    and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Elementary

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Elementary

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation

If you would like to support this project, please contact The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.

Phoe

March 1, 2016

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Phoenix

      • Mixed media on watercolor paper
      • Approx 12″ x 14″
      • In a private collection

The young boy has the phoenix rising from the flames on his shirt and holds a rock with a petroglyph of Kokopelli. Behind him is an ancient kiva found in Chaco Canyon. A starry dragon’s tail encircles the moon while a fiery comet shoots from his mouth.

Miles, 1 year

March 1, 2016

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Miles, one year

  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
  • 16″ x 12″
  • In a private collection

At one year, Miles’ smile is shy, sly, bashful, endearing, precious and encouraging. He juggles the earth, moon and sun, surrounded by our planet and deep space. A small figure of Miles floats in space tethered to his rocket ship near an asteroid mining operation. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and multiple asteroids can be found. Animals in the painting are moose, bison, fox, deer, rabbit and bottle-nose dolphins. Besides space there are a northern landscape, wetlands, prairie, ocean with schools of fish and an underground den. Prairie flowers include butterfly milkweed, blazing star and echinacea.The birds are the sandhill crane and red-headed woodpecker. Trees are birch and black cherry. Bugs are the earthworm and the pollinating bee.
Two of my many wishes for Miles is that he enjoys learning and sharing that joy.
The varied perspectives of this portrait were inspired by MC Escher’s “Other World”.

Aiden

December 1, 2011

Aiden in the bigger picture

  • Pastel Drawing
  • 18″ x 14″
  • In a private collection

Not yet one, this little guy has one hand on his home planet and a Monarch butterfly balanced on the other. The sun, our moon, the planets and the milky way surround Aiden. The background is deep space. On his shirt are Bison and butterfly milkweed, symbols of his prairie roots and the sun sits over his heart.

Last Friday Ira Flatow’s “Science Friday” on NPR was titled “Where Art and Science Meet.”  The show’s guests were filmmaker Werner Herzog, author Cormac McCarthy and physicist Lawrence Krauss. Their views of the future of human life on this planet were not optimistic, but as Cormac McCarthy says “there’s no reason to be miserable about it.” Herzog states that fleeing this planet is impractical and depending on our ability to survive, human beings may be around for another 3,000, 30,000 or 300,000 years. They advise that its important to enjoy our moment in the sun.

Applying this theme to my work I’m spending time re-examining some of my paintings:

Chickadees and Coffee

Passages

Still Life on the Kansas River

Awakenings

The Chauvet cave drawings, discovered in 1994 in the south of France, carbon dated to 32,000 years ago, is the subject of Werner Herzog’s new 3-D film “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”.  Herzog, McCarthy and Krauss discuss the culture of the people who created these drawings with lots of questions and speculations and no answers. On my treks in the southwest I often sit by pictographs and petroglyphs, dated 500 to 3000 years old. I liken it to time travel. Contemplating ancestral drawings from 32,000 years ago, now that’s some time travel. I look forward to seeing the movie.

“Where Art and Science Meet ” program exposes our own insignificance in a cosmic sense, but Ira and his guests were so articulate, talented and good humored that you’ll forgive them for reminding us.

The link to the podcast is
http://hw.libsyn.com/p/a/f/f/aff953063cfef290/scifri20110408-hr2.mp3?sid=93db4de37ada360d2349aa4cdf9367d1&l_sid=18801&l_eid=&l_mid=2514250