|The titles of each piece in the series form a
poem. Here it is:
The importance of place.
Without a plow what would you do?
to the rugged
interior prairiescape of the soul.
Adapt to Change.
Hurdles. Interior hurdles.
Waiting. Lying in the interior.
Interior view. Remember home. Practicing
patience. Patience in waiting.
For the plowed interior
bares it’s frost at dawn.
Working my way up to it.
Working up to it.
Wind revealing pathways. Prairie. Stiffness
in the soul
from constraining the land.
It has an order.
All you need do is be at peace with it.
Be one. It will reveal.
Push forth and utter nonsense.
Wait still in the tall grass
of what is to come,
what has been,
The truth lay deep on the prairie floor.
They are but a reflection of one another.
Grace of the Prairie.
It is out there.
Subtle awareness sensing the connection
before the plow.
Excavating the soul’s landscape.
Return to root affinity from youth. Rekindle
Travel back to awareness.
Open up to change.
Interior Prairiescape Series I:
The Prairie and The Plow
|A Note on Process:
Upon my return from that Art Institute visit, I took up with
hard board panels to explore how oil paint reacted to the
smooth absorbent surface. Some I painted raw, others I
gessoed. It was the first time I can recall feeling a fluidity
with paints that I had previously only experienced with
drawing. It was something akin to watercolor, but better.
As I progressed into the series I began to experience the
lulls that occur when redoing the same thing without
variation or inspiration. I needed to move beyond the
method and material and into the realm of greater
motivation for making art- letting go enough to be open to
The discovery I speak of does not manifest itself in the end
painting as a narrative. Rather, the discovery of self I refer to
is a process. It’s a way of being. It is the attempt to develop a
habit and practice of showing up to actively engage and
release mental preconceptions. It’s making the commitment
to something and following through to the end. It’s hanging
in there when there when total confusion sets in. That activity
I consider art. Whether I show up with a paint brush or
shovel if I am honestly engaged that is art. ‘Artist’ to me is
not what you do but how you consciously choose to live. To
be. It’s paying attention and attempting to remain open.
|When starting out on this creative adventure my intent was to
reacquaint myself with the landscape through a different
method of painting. Earlier in the year I went to see the
Rembrandt show at the Chicago Art Institute and was
impressed to discover he painted some of his work on wood
panels. For me these oils had a different quality than his
canvas paintings. There was a beauty in the flatness of the
surface. I had to give it a try...