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.

Dashiell

January 17, 2018

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Dashiell

  • 18” x 18”, approximate
  • Conte on paper
  • Private Collection

Dashiell’s namesake may or may not be the mystery writer, Mr. Hammett, but that’s what inspired Dash’s portrait. This noir drawing shows the subject dressed as a detective, the Sandia Mountains backlit by the rising moon which also lights the Rio Grande River as it flows past the playset. There’s a story in this somewhere. Maybe Dashiell will write it in a few years.

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.

Phoe

March 1, 2016

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Phoenix

      • Mixed media on watercolor paper
      • Approx 12″ x 14″
      • In a private collection

The young boy has the phoenix rising from the flames on his shirt and holds a rock with a petroglyph of Kokopelli. Behind him is an ancient kiva found in Chaco Canyon. A starry dragon’s tail encircles the moon while a fiery comet shoots from his mouth.

Marshall Family Bean Bag Game

December 30, 2015

Nat Anna Bean Bag Game - CopyNat Anna's side of bean bag game - Copy Kids side of bean bag game - Copy

  • Walnut and mixed hardwood trim on birch plywood, painted with acrylics and marker
  • 36″ x 24″

A Bean Bag Game for the Nat and Anna Marshall family
A woodworking project painted with images of the Marshall kids on a lily pad. Behind them are two Zimney cousins plus lots of cartoon characters that color their imaginations. The parents’ portrait is inspired by Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting. The surrounding landscape shows a world of plenty and plenty of fun.

Another bean bag game I made for the Zimney family can be seen here.

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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.

Glorious Moonflowers

September 17, 2014

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Moonflowers

  • Pastels on Black Paper
  • 25″ x 20″

Moonflowers are a favorite. I planted them around giant Russian sunflowers. The sunflowers heads are now drying, their stalks supporting the vining moonflowers. Transient and fragile, the blossoms develop over several days, appearing as spiraling cones. Unfurling after sunset, the delicately  petaled blossom is supported by the star shaped spine, which is as delicate as the petal. The flowers spread open through the night and, if we’re lucky, for a few hours in the morning.

I started this pastel as a meditative drawing outside, but finished it at my drawing table.

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.

Breakfast on the misty river

    • Oil on Canvas
    • 36″ x 48″
    • $6900
    • Giclée (Digital) Prints, Signed on Archival Paper
      Small (12″ x 16″ w/ 1″ border)  $295
      Medium (24″ x 32″w/ 2″ border)  $495
      Large (30″ x 40″ w/ 2″ border)  $750

 

As the river meanders towards the horizon the warm light of the sunrise colors the mist. Clouds echo the river’s trail, partially covering a low lit moon. Bountiful food, savory and sweet, and coffee make for a morning
feast. Soft breezes blow, lifting the table’s skirt revealing butterfly milkweed, a prairie plant.

It is said to never under-estimate the importance of encountering wild things during moments of solitude. The artist forsakes solitude for companionship and offers up lots of wild things:
A butterfly glides toward the table, one clings to the billowing cloth while another sits astride a macaroon.
Caterpillars crawl on cloth and a milkweed plant, where a chrysalis hangs.
A buck and doe stand alert.
Great Blue Herons fly through vaporous ribbons of mist.
Ducks are startled and erupt in flight from the river’s edge.
Turkeys swim and scurry up the bank.
An eagle soars.
A ladybug sits.
A crystal rests on the table.
Hummingbirds flutter and feed around the zinnia and turkey feather bouquet.
Planets, the Milky Way, comets, galaxies and the morning star hint at the bigger, cosmic picture.

Champs

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 10″ x 20″
  • In a private collection

My sister-in-law, the baker, arrived carrying her tools, arranged carefully in tackle-like boxes. The raw materials to make lemon and chocolate confections for my daughter’s wedding had been delivered. From sacks of flour, sugar, cartons of eggs, chocolate and lemons she created mouthwatering cakes with little moons, the wedding’s motif, on top of mountains of icing. Delicious! Reflected in the silver bowl is a photo of the bride, groom and their prized baker.

The baker’s husband, my brother, is a bar-be-quer. He invited me to be his garnish-er for the American Royal competition in Kansas City, allowing me to witness a fun event and taste some great food. The painting shows a truck pulling a giant smoker in which every kind of meat, veggie and fruit was prepared to perfection.

This baker and the bar-be-quer are blue ribbon champs.