"Little Church on the Prairie"
This is actually from a photo of cave drawings found where ancient Indians dwelled, thousands of years ago. I loved the subtle colors of the cave walls.
Autumn is beautiful everywhere, but there's something extra special about a Kansas autumn.
"Pueblo on a Summer's Noon"
I don't think there is any place hotter than the desert at noon, in the middle of summer. I tried to capture the depth of shadows created by harsh sunlight, and the bleakness of noonday I used model clay to outline the building, then painted over the entire thing in one tone. The intense heat bleaches the landscape, so that there is but one color: Parched (I just made parched a color, but arty folks can do that).
No story from me is necessary. The painting tells it all.
"Trail of Tears"
The five bent figures represent the hundreds of Indians who perished on that dreadful walk known as The Trail of Tears.
The sky behind them, in the upper right corner, is indicative of the nature they loved so much; the starry skies they slept under.
The ring around the moon in the upper left foretells the stormy future that awaits them.
The sea represents the tears they surely shed during those terrible days.
The long shadows: Their shadows were long and have reached across the years.
Two feathers means this is a story of Indians and the pain they endured at the hands of the White Man - and that we will never forget the dignity and pride of their great leaders.
Even as we mourn the plight we set upon innocent Indians, we pay honor to the spirit of those pioneers who made their way West. What a paradox. Human behavior is so complicated...
"All Dressed Up With No Place to Go"
Every time I see this, I think of the wonderful owner of Nature's Window Gallery in Idlywild, CA. My paintings were on exhibit, and yet he took a world of time, painting with me, explaining perspective. It's the little kindnesses that people show us, for no apparent reason, that make life sweet.
The straw detail in the hat was made by dragging a little plastic olive fork through wet acrylic.
Not mine, but probably somebody's.
This same little girl shows up in a lot of my paintings. When I finally came out of denial, I realized that she is me. I think authors write themselves in their characters, and artists paint themselves, even if they don't admit it.
Time to see what would happen if I tried my hand at watercolor pencil.
And then came the Great Experiment in charcoal. Conclusion: Too messy.
Notice the child is behind the mother. I wonder if she ever turned around and looked at him, if she'd still be carting him around on her back. That is one bad looking kid!
"In The Stillness"
There are so many beautiful missions in the desert, and somehow someone has made flowers flurish where scorpions love to roam.
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