Jars
Jars
Shelf in Museum
Shelf in Museum
Grasses
Grasses
Cardoon
Cardoon
Daffodil
Daffodil
Thistle
Thistle
Fish, Jar
Fish, Jar
Firelight on a Stick (Forest, Night)
Firelight on a Stick (Forest, Night)
Fire Across the Water
Fire Across the Water
Foreground, Background
Foreground, Background
Crescent with Wind
Crescent with Wind
Centerpiece
Centerpiece
Fire Across Field (oil on board)
Fire Across Field (oil on board)
Fire in the Marsh
Fire in the Marsh
Floating Man
Floating Man
The Collector
The Collector
Cardoon
Cardoon
Blueberries From the Island
Blueberries From the Island
Monarch
Monarch
Swallowtail
Swallowtail
Great Grey Witch Moth
Great Grey Witch Moth
Backs of Two Red Fish
Backs of Two Red Fish
From the Meadow
From the Meadow

THE OCEANS (project 2015 - present)

 

 

 

Three Cod from a Collapsed Fishery
Three Cod from a Collapsed Fishery

Oil on board, 48" x 36"

Cod I
Cod I

Oil on board, 28" x 18"

Cod, Glass Plate
Cod, Glass Plate

Oil on board, 18" x 24"

THE OCEANS series, sampled here, uses the theme of fish in Still life—common in seventeenth- through nineteenth-century European painting—to highlight current crises of fish populations. To paint a Still Life of a fish today means something very different than it did 300 years ago, namely in the type of species rendered. Here, three codfish. THE OCEANS series is continuing.

 

The Gulf of Maine cod stocks today are probably only a fraction of 1 percent of what they were during George Washington’s presidency – New York Times, January 1, 2015. 

Butterfly Milkweed
Butterfly Milkweed

Oil on board, 12” x 9”

Columbine
Columbine

Oil on board, 20" x 16"

Ladies’ Tresses
Ladies’ Tresses

Oil on board. 8” x 6”

Wild Licorice, Blue-eyed Prairie
Wild Licorice, Blue-eyed Prairie

Oil on board, 16" x 20"

Memorial
Memorial

Oil on board, 14" x 11"

Scarlett Globemallow
Scarlett Globemallow

Oil on board. 6 “ x 8 "

Prairie Smoke, and others
Prairie Smoke, and others

Oil on board, 10" x 20"

Ten-petal blazing star
Ten-petal blazing star

Oil on board. 10” x 10"

Thistle
Thistle

Oil on board, 14" x 11"

 END OF THE PRAIRIE (2014 - 15)

 

  

The END OF THE PRAIRIE features one of America’s biggest and yet overlooked environmental disasters: the destruction of the Midwest’s tall-grass prairie.  Iowa has some of the most fertile soil in the country, which has attracted unrelenting, large-scale agricultural over the past century. Today, only one-tenth of one percent of the Iowa prairie remains. University of Iowa professor and author Cornelia Mutel, who’s written extensively on the Iowan landscape, describes the transformation of the prairie to farmland as “the most rapid and complete ecological conversion of a major biological system in Earth's history.” Along with the millions of acres of tall-grass prairie, the flowers will go, too. Here, the traditional genre of the flowery Still Life and refashioned it into mourning portraits.  

  

EL CANAL (2015)

 

Ometepe Island, Looking South to Dredging Area

Moonlight Over a Farm that Will be Under an Artificial Lake (Nueva Guinea, eastern Nicaragua).

Pink Evening in Las Isletas

Lake Nicaragua, Beyond the Trees

Dormant Volcano, Ometepe

Midmorning in Brito, At the Head of the Estuary

Estuary at Sunrise; Fuel Jetty and Wharf to be Here

Red Rocks in Brito

Las Isletas; Where Norton Bush Painted

From a Cave in Brito; The Exact Place where the Canal Will Begin

Sardine #1, Brito

Sardine #2, Brito

Green Waves, Pacific, and then China, to the West

Gray Day on Ometepe; Dredging Area Just Beyond

Water Soughing on Ometepe Beach

Brito, Pacific Side Canal Terminus; the Beach That Will be Dug Out

Fishermen in Brito, Location of 1000-meter Wharf

Wave, Fishermen, Brito

These landscape paintings were made along the proposed Nicaraguan Canal Project route.  The canal will be three times as long and nearly twice as deep as the Panama Canal. Taking ten years to complete, the project will displace an estimated 30-100,000 people, many of them indigenous. Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America and home to a species of freshwater shark, will be polluted with 700 million cubic meters of sediment after dredging, poisoning drinking water and decimating the local fishing industries. A 400-square-kilometer artificial lake will flood on the eastern side, in a Biological Reserve.  

 

In total, the project will affect an estimated 4,000 square kilometers of forest, coast and wetlands, including the San Miguelito wetlands, the Cerro Silva Natural Reserve, and the Río San Juan Biosphere Reserve—containing the Los Guatuzos Wildlife Reserve, the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, and the Solentiname Archipelago. The $50 billion project will be built by the Chinese company HKND, which broke ground in the western town of Rivas on December 22, 2014.  Half of all profits from EL CANAL series went to a nonprofit in Nicaragua specializing in providing clean water to citizens. All paintings Oil on board, 8" 10". 

PASSSAGE,  

IOWA’S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD  (2014)

 

Cellar Jars, John Brown, 1856
Cellar Jars, John Brown, 1856

Oil on board (as all others in series). 10" 20""

Geese over Cedar River, Late Winter
Geese over Cedar River, Late Winter

5" x 7"

Grasses by Samuel Yule's Barn
Grasses by Samuel Yule's Barn

24” x 18”

Standing over Tunnel
Standing over Tunnel

12" x 6"

Lewelling Quaker Museum
Lewelling Quaker Museum

11 x 14"

Illuminated Crawlspace, Missouri
Illuminated Crawlspace, Missouri

8" x 6"

Illuminated Crawlspace II
Illuminated Crawlspace II

8" x 6"

Signal, Near Missouri
Signal, Near Missouri

16" x 20"

The Way to the Yule barn
The Way to the Yule barn

10" x 10"

Shadows on the Yule farm
Shadows on the Yule farm

10" x 8"

Paused over the tunnel
Paused over the tunnel

7" x 5"

Number 151: Museum artifact
Number 151: Museum artifact

18" x 20"

Where the Maxon House stood
Where the Maxon House stood

14" x 11"

Memorial, John Brown
Memorial, John Brown

11" x 14"

With the help of local historians, I found and documented sites from eastern Iowa’s Underground Railroad.  Only a few houses and barns involved in eastern Iowa's Underground Railroad remain--most have been demolished to make way for cornfields, or have fallen into decay.  Bound up in secrecy, many sites were never documented, and so forgotten.

 

America’s western-most free state, Iowa played a critical role for safe passage from Missouri to the Mississippi River and northward after the Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850. Iowa’s Quaker farmers outfitted their houses with crawlspaces, tunnels leading away from cellars, and, in one case, an entire floor that lifted to reveal a stairway down to secret room.  For helping escaped slaves, these farmers were sued, shot at, and threatened.  In 1850, a Missouri man sued a group of Salem, Iowa farmers for $10,000 when the Iowans aided nine slaves who had escaped from a farm in Clark County, Missouri.

 

The first painting of this series shows jars in the basement of a house where abolitionist John Brown slept in 1856.  PASSAGE has a double meaning: these sites and the farmers provided safe passage for escaped slaves, and now we are witnessing the passing of those sites themselves as they slip into decay.  

 

Honey, Winter, Iowa
Honey, Winter, Iowa

12" x 12"

From Odd Nerdrum's Studio
From Odd Nerdrum's Studio

Oil on mylar

Nerdrum's Studio
Nerdrum's Studio

Oil on mylar

Invasives: Phragmites
Invasives: Phragmites

20" 16"

Invasives: Phragmites II
Invasives: Phragmites II

14" x 11"

Climate Change
Climate Change

14" x 11"

Heavy Berries, Hard Winter
Heavy Berries, Hard Winter

20" x 16"

Candle, Winter, Iowa
Candle, Winter, Iowa

10" x 8"

Key from a distance
Key from a distance
Key up close
Key up close
Winter in the Studio
Winter in the Studio

16"

EARLIER WORK (2009 - 2013)