I am a native Kansan, with a deep connection to the prairie earth. I draw artistic inspiration from the stones, trees, grasses, sky and animals around me. Daily interactions with nature teach me that the prairie is a spiritual place, forever whispering stories about transformation. No matter what our challenges, there is a path forward.
Bright silver moons remind us of new beginnings. Tall grasses swaying in the wind teach resilience. Keening prairie hawks inspire strength.
I create art that is strongly textured, weathered, and austere. I am inspired by the notion that nothing lasts, and nothing is finished. That the world around us is constantly evolving from and into a new place of being. Contemplating nature this way eases our spiritual passage and understanding of life.
From this lens, I see beauty in all stages of life, especially things that are coming and going, such as spring grass or autumn leaves. Nature's movement toward a new state of being is captivating. A lone, withered tree bent by the strong prairie wind is compelling to gaze upon. That tree is a survivor, weathering drought, bitter cold and searing heat. Despite obstacles, it remains and endures.
Each painting undergoes many layers of transformation until I feel I have pulled out of the canvas a story the prairie wishes to share.
Stone, bark and grass in art-making
I connect art to nature by incorporating organic materials to create one-of-a-kind paintings. Each piece contains a combination of carefully selected natural materials that are folded into the paint and used in mark making. I feel they add warm spiritual energy.
I wander the prairie for the perfect fossil laden limestone or sandstone, evidence that this part of the world was once under an ancient ocean. I slowly grind the stone with an antique mortar and pestle, and gently fold grains into my paint. Sometimes I add iron pellets to the paint, oxidize it, and create a hand-made rust. This results in a beautiful, organic patina that reminds us that life is fleeting. Walnut ink, earth pigments, plant ash, cottonwood bark, native grass and other organic items are also used.
Each piece is unique, offering color combinations and raw materials special to the feelings I try to convey. No two pieces are the same. They are truly one-of-a-kind.