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 whose 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.

Women’s March

January 25, 2017

Women standing up for their rights.

Women standing up for their rights.

Celebrating Women's hard won right to vote in the USA

Celebrating Women’s hard won right to vote in the USA

The two young women toasting their right to vote in the bottom painting are the same women who joined several million folks around the world to protest the proposed rollback of hard fought rights for women and for the environment with the 2016 elections. The national movement to gain women the right to vote took 72 years. You can learn more about it here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Six years old

April 7, 2016

Clara, 6 years

Clara, 6 years

  • Pencil on bristol board
  • 11″ x 5″
  • Private Collection

There is not a more charming subject than a child, and no child is more charming than this one. Her headband shows 6, the number of years she has graced the world with her presence.