Prairie (first draft)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Yesterday I started a prairie painting. This time of year, wind moves across the prairie and shakes the water, dry grasses, bird feathers, and walkers into a kind of weathered, worshipful submission.

I don’t know how to paint the prairie; artistically, it has always baffled me. Like the overwhelming stimuli of a field, the prairie gives me aesthetic overload. I’m working from memory and feeling, not from photographs, and sketching what imprinted as I stood out there, watching and listening.

Painting has gotten safe lately, and a little formulaic. I need to get lost in a painting, to get in over my head and find my way out. The prairie seems like a good place to not know what I’m doing. It’s too big, wild, and complex to get it all, or get it right. Instead, I’m going to try to let it get me.


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