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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Mapping my home territory

  • 12” x 24”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $899

Here is a map of the territory I cross often, cruising from Kansas to northeast Missouri and Illinois. Theoretically, I could drop a boat in the Kansas River near me and float across Missouri then up the Mississippi River to my hometown area. Having walked and biked a bit along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the option of floating is appealing. But going against the current on the Mississippi River, watching for river traffic and running headlong into floating debris, is a different story. That’s where guides are nice. The Kansas River fortunately has an official Riverkeeper, who protects and teaches about the river. And you can also kayak with them. The organization is called Friends of the Kaw.

A list of places marked on this map painting are:
In Kansas: Lake Perry, Clinton Lake, Lawrence, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Kansas City, Kansas River, Leavenworth, Lansing and Atchison.

In Missouri: Canton, LaGrange, Palmyra, West Ely, Hassard, Monroe City, Indian Creek (Swinkey), Moberly, Kansas City, Ft. Osage, Arrow Rock, Boonville, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hermann, Weldon Springs, St. Louis, Clarksville, Louisiana, Hannibal

In Illinois: Quincy. Alton

In Iowa: Keokuk

Mapping the Mississippi

January 17, 2018

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  • 12” x 12”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $450

Maps offer an approach for learning about a place. The painting above shows the Mississippi River as it flows through it’s flood plane past Fort Madison and Keokuk, IA, Hamilton, IL, at its confluence with the Des Moines River, and past Canton, MO.

 

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        • 12” x 12”
        • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
        • $450
  • The above painting shows the Mississippi River and it’s flood plane passing Quincy, IL, Palmyra, Hannibal and Louisiana, MO.

 

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  • 12” x 12”
  • Acrylic on Ampersand Gessobord, .5” birch cradle
  • $450

The Mississippi River meets the Illinois and Missouri rivers either side of the town of Alton, IL in the painting above.

If all three painting are connected, they would look like the image below.

  • Special price for the three paintings – $1200.
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Triptych of the Mississippi River and it’s flood plane from Fort Madison, IA south towards St. Louis.

A Water Map

January 17, 2018

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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.

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.

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”.

Carson

October 11, 2014

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  • Acrylics and watercolor on watercolor board
  • 8″ x 10″

The bow of a kayak with the viewer’s “point of view” slices through the river of a landscape held by the chubby hands of the subject. Animals playfully dot the surface behind.

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.