Monday, September 16, 2013

Inspired by the Tallgrass Prairie- Flint Hills Landscape Series

The expansive sky, swaying grasses, and rolling hills
of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in the Flint Hills of Kansas
create a beautiful landscape and an inspiring ecosystem. 

 Learning about the diverse vegetation, rich soil conditions, native animal populations, and land management of the precious Tallgrass prairie inspired these painterly landscapes with a modern twist.  Each painting features a dynamic composition, lush color, richly painted texture, and highlights a key component of the Flint Hills ecosystem. 

The Promise of Return- Bison of Flint Hills

The Promise of Return- Bison on Tallgrass Prairie of Flint Hills
©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, 12 in x 12 in, oil on canvas

Once numbering 60 million, herds of Bison were a crucial component of the Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem. Their specific grazing preferences enhance the prairie landscape. Populations were decimated by humans, but are now being successfully reintroduced.

Sunshine Underground- Flint Hills, KS

Sunshine Underground Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie
©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, 12 in x 12 in, oil on canvas

A graphic interpretation of the 70-80% of the Tallgrass Prairie's biomass that exists underground. A dense network of deep roots creates extremely rich soil for the prairie ecosystem.  This rich soil is highly valued by farmers, as it produces bountiful crops.

Harmonious Landscape- Flint Hills, KS

A Harmonious Landscape- Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie
©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, 12 in x 12 in, oil on canvas

An abstracted interpretation of the Tallgrass Prairie landscape, where the ecosystem thrives because of the healthy relationships between vegetation species and environmental conditions.

Cumulus Clouds Over Flint Hills

Cumulus Clouds Over Flint Hills
©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, 12 in x 12 in, oil on canvas

An expansive sky of quickly moving clouds over recently mowed prairie grasses in the Flint Hills of Kansas. "Haying" is a method of controlling growth of dominant grasses and encouraging plant diversity in the landscape.

Though I am an artist working in the Denver, Colorado area, I recently had the opportunity to visit the Flint Hills on a trip to see family. I was deeply impressed by this beautiful land and the importance of its preservation and restoration. 

I explore both traditional and abstract imagery in my art, and I wanted my paintings of the Flint Hills to reflect my passion for this unique landscape. I believe art should be an expression of both nature and the artist, so I have used traditional techniques to create imagined scenes which are true to nature yet have creative graphic elements specific to my own vision. 

Erin on site at Fint Hills, KS

Here I am on site working on sketches and collecting photographs and research before starting the paintings back in the studio!

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