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Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Glacier's Gift to the Prairie

The painting that is at the top of the blog is one that I made based upon photographs taken at Curtis Prairie at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin. Curtis Prairie is one of the few original tall grass prairies left in the state. By that, I mean that is was never plowed under, farmed or developed in any way. We are fortunate to have many new prairie restorations to further expand our natural tall grass prairies in the state.
I call this painting "The Glacier's Gift to the Prairie." Another feature in Wisconsin are the beautiful glacial boulders that the glaciers brought down from Canada and dumped in our state.
Many homes have lovely rock walls in gardens made of these boulders. We have a couple of those in our home gardens. This particular rock wall is along the edge of the prairie at the visitor center.
I painted it in pastel on Wallis sanded pastel paper. I was attracted to the light and shadow patterns on the rocks and the interaction with the native grasses.


  1. I love that painting, Mom! The yellow-greens are highly charged, so you get the feeling of bright sunshine and that this is a cool, calm respite from the sun.

  2. love the painting and understand the original prairie thing. my family owns a piece of original prairie on the ks/mo state line. part of the old wagon trail from ft scott, ks, to ft smith, ar, runs through the prairie and you can still see it.

    it's such a special part of history!

  3. Thanks, Jill, for stopping in to my blog. Prairies are so special! The tallgrass prairie at Curtis Prairie is a very amazing experience to walk through the tall grass at full season and have the grasses be over one's head! Wonderful that your family is preserving their prairie land!

    Hi, Julia: The photo I was working from was taken in spring and the greens of the prairie grasses are so vivid then! Love ya! MOM