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.

A Water Map

January 17, 2018

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

The Mississippi River near Hannibal

  • 12” x 36”
  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord, 2” birch cradle
  • $3900
  • Giclée Prints, 10″ x 30″ –  $395++ or custom size can be ordered.

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.

Clara loses a front tooth

January 20, 2017

Clara loses her front tooth

Clara loses her front tooth

  • Scratchboard
  • 7″ x 5″

Clara passes a memorable age mark.

Aesa

December 5, 2016

aesa-web

  • Chalk pastel on pastel paper
  • 10” x 8” approximately

I like Aesa’s spunk, inherited from the rest of her family.

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?”

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.

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.