Thursday, August 30, 2007

2007 Plein Air Artist Invitational

Spent the first half of the day working with the video camera on glacial morains, and kames, and kettleholes, taping Argiope Spiders wrapping prey in their webs; filming pioneer cemeteries in Osceola and O'Brien much fun can a person have in one day?!!

"Summer Pasture"
(Oil on canvas 9"X12")

When I got home I found out one of my paintings in the Plein Air Artist Invitational at the Pearson Lakes Art Center was chosen by the Judge as one of the award winners...another nice thing for the day!

I'll be spending my $100 winnings on the studio gallery, which just got set back a bit by the contractor again...maybe we'll lose that roof by October???

The "Summer Pasture" was my favorite piece of the summer, so it is only even more of a pleasant thing that the person judging the exhibit felt the same way.

Keep positive, efforts are often times unrecognized! If it pleases you and you give your best effort, it is still worthwhile, even if no one notices. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Late Summer on the Tallgrass

This time of the year on the prairie here is sublime, yet I do ponder the rush into autumn that seems to be steaming our way!

There's a great deal going on in the north pasture, and in many other prairies we've been visiting the past couple weeks. We've been filming the prairies here and there in our corner of the state and they all have the same residents and forbs (wild flowers) celebrating their time in the sun.

Liatris punctata with a Common Sulphur

One August prairie forb that has to be a favorite here is the Dotted Liatris (Liatris punctata). It covers the gravelly hilltops here and at several state preserves and prairie areas. It compliments the Western Wheat grass that drifts up our slopes, peeking out and rising above in the crest of drying grasses.

We're also very fond of the insects that work the liatris like iron filings to a magnet - the butterflies, moths, and bees!

I love photographing insects...why, I suppose there's several reasons. But with butterflies, it's obvious. They are quite beautiful and fleeting; as are the flowers of the tallgrass.

Take in the natural areas and enjoy the late summer days!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nostalgia - Sights and Sounds and Smells (almost)

A "sense of place" has moved through my mind nearly every adult day of my life; I find it both melancholy and an anchor to other times. The sounds, sights, and smells of a summer's day is a typical theme for this experience.

Years ago I did quite a bit of video work for college program recruitment...the old analog - insert and assemble editing. Today it's much different with computer software and digital video equipment.

Join me for a quick (less than 3 minutes) walk this summer morning, through the pasture/prairie remnant we call Prairie Hill Farm...a walk I hope to take for years to come, before heading into the studio for the day's work.

(Please do not hesitate to enter comments on this blog! It helps me to do better and it helps draw more people into the process. Thank you!)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Again - A Prairie Pothole

As mentioned previously, I'm rather enamored with prairie potholes in our region of the country. There are far more in Minnesota than NW Iowa, but I'm still grateful we have what we have managed to save from the field tile.

"Summer Afternoon - West of Spring Run"
9"X12" oil on Canvas

The skies are so fleeting and hard to seize into memory...sometimes I do better than others. I choose to let the sky dominate this 9X12 oil study of a wetland just west of Spring Run in Dickinson County. I may try to carry this study further some cold winter's night...we'll see.

It's August already and the summer has passed things I'd hoped to pursue. What's a person to do? Come back in another life and finish where you left off?!

I'm not pondering anything new am I...

Enjoy while it lasts.