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.

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.

The Mississippi River near Hannibal

  • 12” x 36”
  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 2” birch cradle
  • $3900
  • Giclée (Digital) Prints, Signed, on Archival Paper
    Small (6″ x 18″ w/ 1″ border) $195
    Medium (10″ x 30″ w/ 2″ border) $395
    Large (13.33″ x 40″ w/ 2″ border) $750

The river town of Hannibal, MO is my birthplace. The spirits of Samuel Clemens and Molly Brown, among others, contribute to the character of Hannibal, 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 as to 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.

Alice

March 27, 2017

Alice with Chili

Oil on Canvas
48″ x 24″ approximate

Portraits are a favorite subject matter. Composing a painting of someone with (or without) their chosen symbols is enjoyable for me as the painter and, it is my hope, that that energy holds for the life of the work. Alice is a beautiful person who lives a life of compassion and love. Some of her chosen symbols include her 15 year old dog, Chili, her plant – nettles, the Admiral (nettle) butterfly, snake, cottonwood, gnarled oaks, coyote and owl. The figure sits cross-legged with Chili at sunset/rise on a misty river with deep space evident through the leaves. The water reflects some internal parts of the human body; bones, organs, muscles. The monad/jewel above the figure is representative of someone who strives to live through her higher self.

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?”

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.

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”.

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Eric and Libby

  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
  • 60″ x 30″
  • In a private collection

A celebration of life and love caused this painting to be commissioned. It shows special places, events and people in the lives of this loving and lovely couple. In the rocks at their feet are images of their first meeting as 4 year olds, their wedding, their 20th anniversary and a kiss on a Colorado mountaintop under the full moon. Following the steps up the hill in the painting there are portraits of a large family and meaningful places. A variety of symbols important to the couple are scattered throughout the painting. Behind them are the homes they’ve lived in through their marriage, a setting sun and the full moon.