Friday, November 19, 2010

In The Neighborhood

"Little Sioux Autumn Sunrise"
5X16" color pencil rendering © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image to see a larger view)

Chilly gray November days have kept me in the studio, and that's a good thing as I've been busy with several projects and some commissioned works.

One piece I've been working on was just finished and framed this week; its another color pencil and is in a panoramic format.  Not a large piece, but slightly bigger than most of my recent color pencil pieces - approximately 5X16". All my color pencil work is done from my own photographs, and its not hard to see that photographic influence on these pieces.  I do "edit" in my head while working on these pieces, but the original influence is still evident.  This is an early autumn landscape; the corn is still in the fields and the trees are only just beginning to turn.  The view is "in the neighborhood", as I like to say...probably 10 miles from the studio "as the Crow flies".

As I've said in the past, I see many things out here on the prairie in panoramic's not hard, most landscapes out here are sweeping. I could isolate the elements that make up these vistas, and often times I do; this is part of a view I enjoy again and again, and has much significance to it.

The vantage point I am standing on for this scene is on the old "O'Brien No.1" site.  In the early 1940's, state botanist Ada Hayden was given a grant of $100 to travel the state and find existing prairie remnants "of importance".  This location, now part of the Waterman Prairie complex, was one such location Ada recommended for preservation; she designated it as O'Brien No.1.  The site was finally preserved in the mid 1990's; took long enough (!) but thankfully we finally got it right!

This view is also of geological significance.  This is the view from above a 10-15 thousand year old remnant "Hanging Valley", the former river bed of the river flowing below (Little Sioux River). 

The area was also home to the Mill Creek Culture, which inhabited the valley as late as around 1150 AD; there are over 80 village sites along this valley and up to where our studio is!

AND this is also the location of our earliest settler (pioneer) homesteads...a lot of natural, cultural and geological heritage happening here!

This original piece is hanging in the studio here and can be viewed any time I'm here...just give me a call or stop by and chance your luck of me being around!  All my information, address and phone number can be found on our web site at .

Tallgrass prairie, glaciers, native americans and pioneers - does it get any better than this?!?!  Gotta' love it!


Linda said...

Oh, Bruce! You never cease to amaze me! The most recent picture you posted, is so totally awesome!! I forwarded it many friends and relatives, that I know will love it as much as I !!!

hare said...

I would like to go to Iowa to study English, and sometimes I will visit to your place next March and April. I am going to go to English school for 2month.
I am looking forward to see you and your animals in prairie.^^

Prairie Painter said...

Linda, thank you for your kind comments!

Prairie Painter said...

Makiko, that would be wonderful if you could make it up to the studio! March and April is the very beginning of spring here and we're always happy to see it arrive!