April 29, 2019
It is a beautiful evening in late April, and it just happens to be earth day. I have been sitting blissfully alone for almost an hour outside of my little cabin in the woods. This time of year the animals are so much fun to watch. The trees are just starting to get buds so there is nowhere for the animals to hide but the grass is getting greener every day. We have a flock of turkeys that live most of their lives on our property. They are really showing off tonight. As I sit here I think about how to capture the light coming through their fanned tails and how to catch the iridescence of their feathers that you only see when the sun is shining just right. I can hear so many birds it almost overwhelms the senses. In addition to the turkeys, who are the most vocal, I can hear the squeaking of the Downy Woodpeckers, the beautiful melodic music of the Blue Jays mating song, the echoing call of the Northern Flicker as it sings out for attention from the top of the tallest cottonwood tree, along with countless others I cannot identify. A little sparrow has been gathering materials for his nest. A robin just came and took a bath in the water trough. I have been sitting here in the calmness so long the Whitetail deer have come and gone not even noticing my presence. These moments are what inspired me to paint. I do my biggest most ambitious paintings during the winter, the long drawn out North Dakota winter. Trying to catch these types of moments on my canvas takes me back to this peaceful feeling. I hope my paintings help other people stop for just a moment and feel the calmness and the peace that only nature can bring.