The Mississippi River near Hannibal

  • 12” x 36”
  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 2” birch cradle
  • $3900
  • Pre-publication Rate for Giclée Print on archival paper, 10″ x 30″ image size – $199, plus tax and shipping. Publication Date – September 30, 2017
  • Giclée Prints will be $395++ after September 30, 2017

The river town of Hannibal, MO is my birthplace. The spirits of Samuel Clemens and Molly Brown, among others, contribute to the character of the place, which sits nestled among the bluffs of the Mississippi River. It’s a place where stories pique the imagination, soothe, scare and tantalize. Perhaps a reason is the unpredictable rise and fall of the river which creates an uncertainty for where you might be able to stand tomorrow. The hospital where I was born is now abandoned and boarded up. My old high school is an elementary school. Things change during a lifetime. But the bluffs above the town change in geologic time, letting you know how brief our lives are and at the same time allowing for a sense of timelessness.

The painting blends many images relating to the area’s past and present. Downtown Hannibal sits in a valley at sunset with the iconic lighthouse above the river. A floodgate system now saves part of the town from the ravages of spring floods. I show workmen closing the gates as the water rises. Bison are imagined as having once wandered down the maple forested bluffs in autumn with hills made golden by falling maple leaves. A blackberry thicket grows along a bay inlet where a kayaker can harvest to her heart’s content. A water snake, turtles and catfish rest nearby while the startled frog leaps. A dragonfly hovers above the mud bank and an eagle glides above. The middle panel shows Mark Twain’s statue standing in Riverview Park at sunrise. The right panel shows the channeled, but still wide river, used as a transportation artery; the paddleboat, the barge and faintly, canoes are indicated on the eastern bank. Our culture has chosen to try to control river flooding with levees, locks and dams. Native Americans used mounds as a solution for living with the breathing river. Interpretive centers for the mound cultures can be found throughout the country. Cahokia Mounds is nearby in east St. Louis. The river is an important flyway for migrating birds indicated by the ducks headed up river. A Great Blue Heron flies above fellow birds nesting in trees along the shoreline. A Native American of the Illini tribe gazes at a Monarch butterfly that has landed on his hand. A male Monarch flutters near the blooming butterfly milkweed where a chrysalis hangs. A rabbit hides under a sumac. A couple stands on Lover’s Leap which is painted with artistic license to resemble the Birger figurine, an ancient pipestone sculpture found south near the river.

Seeking inspiration

January 14, 2017

Seeking inspiration for a drawing

    Seeking inspiration for a drawing
  • 11″ x 8.5″ approx
  • Pencil and Colored Pencil
  • Was auctioned in Baldwin City, KS Lumberyard Art Center

Art auctions are hard on galleries and artists’ incomes. When you can buy a work of art at below market value, folks often wait for the next auction. But exceptions are made, and here’s one. This drawing was available for purchase at the Lumberyard Art Center’s 2017 Chocolate Auction in Baldwin City, KS.
Pictured is the artist’s hand working on sketch ideas for the Lumberyard Auction as the inspiring chocolate donut and coffee sit nearby. The coffee mug features a mug of abolitionist John Brown (the pre-Civil War Battle of Black Jack was waged nearby) as the yellow brick road rolls off over the hills.

Whispers

July 13, 2016

Whispers_med

  • Watercolor plus mixed media
  • 14” x 34”
  • $1250
  • Giclée Print, 10.5” x 25.5” $395

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.

Reflecting balls

April 7, 2016

  • Hand w ballsColored pencil, pencil on bristol board
  • 11″ x 14″
  • $495

My portrait is in this drawing 3x, once with sunglasses, one with glasses and one so small it would be hard to tell. My 4 year old granddaughter found all 3 images in a snap. In my paintings “Vessel with Oriole” and “Champs” you will also find portraits on a reflective surface.

Ant Pot Drawing

June 25, 2014

Image

  • Pencil on bristol board
  • 12″ x 10″ approx
  • $450

An M.C. Escher inspired drawing of a Mata Ortiz ant pot by Mexican artist, Yoly Ledezma. The artist created a surreal image playing with size, perspective and value.

Image

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 9″ x 7″
  • $595

In listening to Dennis Dutton’s Ted Talk on Beauty, I found that he describes my landscapes very accurately, except for the food part. According to Prof. Dutton we are all, no matter our current location in this world, attracted to the Pleistocene savannah on which our ancestors evolved. His description of an appealing landscape includes open grassland, stands of trees (apparently we also prefer them with forked trunks low to the ground), a body of water and a path, road or shoreline leading to the horizon.

Valentine’s Day is soon upon us. It’s a time to salute love, beauty and a sense of adventure. This little painting gives a nod to those and in one of my favorite parts of the world. Mark Twain placed Tom, Huck and Joe on Jackson Island for one of their adventures. The viewer sits above the Mississippi River at sunset celebrating the moment.

Illustrations for a story

January 5, 2013

Last year presented numerous opportunities for illustration. These are some of the drawings done for a writer of a children’s story about flowers and butterflies. Part of the story’s message is that all of us should take the time to appreciate the abundance and variety of exquisite life that surrounds us.

Girlfriends dancing to airport crp (438x380)

Girfriends dancing to the airport

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Watching a miracle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Costume Tea Party with Butterflies

Breakfast on the misty river

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 36″ x 48″
  • $6900
  • Giclée Prints
    12″ x 16″ image size – $395
    24” x 32” image size – $495

As the river meanders towards the horizon the warm light of the sunrise colors the mist. Clouds echo the river’s trail, partially covering a low lit moon. Bountiful food, savory and sweet, and coffee make for a morning
feast. Soft breezes blow, lifting the table’s skirt revealing butterfly milkweed, a prairie plant.

It is said to never under-estimate the importance of encountering wild things during moments of solitude. The artist forsakes solitude for companionship and offers up lots of wild things:
A butterfly glides toward the table, one clings to the billowing cloth while another sits astride a macaroon.
Caterpillars crawl on cloth and a milkweed plant, where a chrysalis hangs.
A buck and doe stand alert.
Great Blue Herons fly through vaporous ribbons of mist.
Ducks are startled and erupt in flight from the river’s edge.
Turkeys swim and scurry up the bank.
An eagle soars.
A ladybug sits.
A crystal rests on the table.
Hummingbirds flutter and feed around the zinnia and turkey feather bouquet.
Planets, the Milky Way, comets, galaxies and the morning star hint at the bigger, cosmic picture.

  • Celebration on the Missouri RiverOil on Linen
  • 16″ x 20″
  • $1920
  • Print, 16″ x 20″ image size – $395

My husband and I once  spent a week canoeing the wide and beautiful upper Missouri River. The cliffs of the Badlands, bathed in the light of the full moon, sit across the river. The sky is Montana big. Storms move through in the distance, not effecting the picnic.  Male and female Scarlet Tanagers and a Monarch butterfly represent the gentle side of nature.

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.