Oaksdating

Though I've taken out many of the interior fences on the property, I often leave old fence posts in place when they are not in the way.In southeastern Iowa, most of these were cut from hedge apple (Osage-orange) decades ago.This particular post sits along a lane which cuts through a little patch of prairie.Though I didn't see the pair of bluebirds in that particular spot, it seems like a natural setting for them.It always seemed more interesting to me to study the natural world.At a young age I realized I wanted to live and work on a farm, not to make a living but to work with the habitat and wildlife.While teaching and raising a family, funds accumulated slowly, so I was almost 50 by the time I joined friends to purchase some ground in northern Missouri.I bought my current farm, a rather run down piece of ground in 1997. The CRP was all brome and the timber long neglected and choked with multiflora rose. Not much of a farm for traditional farming, but it was a great candidate for a wildlife farm. Lots of tree planting, timber stand improvement, putting in food plots, ponds and a wetland, re-establishing native grass and prairie.

Though I was raised on a farm I never really wanted to be a farmer.I had plenty of reference material, so I experimented with various elements and compositions until I found the arrangement I liked best.It was fun to work the various colors up and down to find the right balance.It also provided the reference post for this painting.Once I had the components I needed, I created the conceptual design, and then finally the original painting.

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