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.

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.

Seeking inspiration

January 14, 2017

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”, 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.

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”.

Our dog Sal

January 5, 2013

Sal at the dog park

Sal at the dog park

  • Mixed Media on Canson Watercolor Art Board
  • 16″ x 20″
  • In a private collection

This is mixed media portrait of a favorite pet in one of his favorite places. He sits in a winter landscape at sunrise with a flock of geese flying overhead, headed for for the lake.

Olivia, one year

December 29, 2012

Image

Olivia, one year

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

When I paint a portrait of a child, I not only present their likeness, but offer a window to the world of which they are a part. My work is about symbols and I’m a believer in their power. If the symbols in the painting help to give rise to Liv’s curiosity in life, I’m a happy artist.

Clara

April 9, 2011

Clara Brooke Marshall

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 14″ x 14″
  • In the collection of N/AM

Clara’s 9 month portrait includes symbols the natural world. She holds the earth in her hands, fingers under the clouds. A small section of prairie with butterfly milkweed sits above the earth. Monarch butterflies capture Clare’s eye as they head toward their overwintering homes in California and Mexico. The Monarch caterpillar, pupa and butterfly milkweed cover her shirt. A few blocks from my home is a beautiful, fanciful, fun butterfly garden outside the Monarch Watch building. My hope is that Clara will become very familiar with it as she grows. At least that is the intention of her two grandmothers. The moon, our closest neighbor in space, rests above the prairie.  The constellations illustrate the time of Clara’s birth.  Great Blue Herons have had a rookery on our farm for years. Clare will be able to join us to watch them circle above the sycamore trees, returning home just before sunset with a full belly. She enjoys water so much that I decided to stand the heron in water and include a water flower among her symbols, the lotus.

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.

Flint Hills Revery

June 14, 2009

Approaching Storm
Revery in the Hills

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 22″ x 22″
  • In the collection of B/S N

Last night the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra (Symphony in the Flint Hills) played on the Upper Turkey Springs pasture between Florence and Cedar Point, KS. Thousands of us sat among prairie grasses and flowers listening to compositions that complemented the land and sky. The work of composers such as Copeland (the Red Pony), Dvorak (In Nature’s Realm), Bernstein (Theme from the Magnificent Seven), Barry (Dances with Wolves Suite) created a wonder filled evening.

Revery in the Hills is a prairie painting that combines plein air with studio work. The images are meant to evoke sensual romance with the sunlit picnic. This pleasant repast is obviously disturbed but there is also the exhilarating energy that comes with an approaching storm.

To make a prairie it takes a clover
and one bee…
One clover and a bee,
and revery.
The revery alone will do
if bees are few.
Emily Dickinson