The rural landscape is disappearing. Over time, some changes have been gradual, others quite dramatic. Most of the changes are due simply to the passage of time. Barns fall down; trees grow up and land usage patterns change. Kansas one hundred years ago was depicted as a vast rolling plain devoid of trees and civilization. How would we know this if artists had not made a record of how things looked at that time?
Because progress and growth are an inevitable part of human endeavor, my painting is an attempt to give the viewer a perspective on how much and how rapidly the landscape is changing. The time I spent in the Flint Hills in my youth has given me a profound understanding and appreciation of the value of the uninhabited space. Silence and solitude are underrated. As a boatman drops a stick in the water to gauge the movement of the raft, my painting freezes a bit of the present by which people in the future can measure the rate of progress or passage of time.
I see myself as one who is documenting current history, so that in 50, or 100, or more years in the future someone can look at my paintings and say this is what Kansas looked like in the late 20th and early 21st century.