Nature

great falls plains–cascade county, near ulm

I suppose it’s self-evident that nature is important to me. I find it kind of hard to write about (I feel more comfortable wrangling with the physical representation than the verbal one)–folks who hail from my part of the world would consider it gag-worthy to call it “nature.” Not that there’s another name for it. It’s just where you live. It occurred to me on a trip home, years after I’d more or less departed, that a possible reason that so many people don’t put a lot of effort into aesthetics in their homes in Montana is because it’s an unnecessary effort, when you can just step out the door to see heart-stopping beauty.

It is one of my goals to spend several months a year in Montana to paint–or maybe just paint in–that extraordinary country. So far, I’ve managed one week back in 2000 to take a crack at capturing the forest fires raging at the time (Montana Firescapes), and another quick trip with my dad to the plains outside Great Falls in 2008. I painted the piece, above, in the back of my dad’s pick-up…

I’m getting old enough to wonder if I’ll actually be able to make that happen, but I still hope. If I have to do it one painting at a time, so be it. At this point, I’m hoping to do this same spot on the Montana plains, about five times this size, in at least four different times of year…not sure I’ll do Summer–too hot, and not that interesting to me–I prefer Fall and Spring skies, and Winter everything.

Meantime, I’ve been meditating on the trees of California, and they do ground me, at the same time that they have allowed me to experiment with new media and techniques. Those paintings can be found here (2010/2011) and here (2007).

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