Three miles north of my studio are the protruding faces of the Smoky Hills lining the river of the same name. To get there I must leave the ancient glacial wash of the McPherson Valley Wetlands which drain south to the Arkansas River and cross a flat dry transition zone. If I was way-finding like the residents of 150 or more years ago this shift in drainage directions would be be as important as the rising sun in telling me where I stood in the cosmos.
To the artist's eye the Hills of the Smoky River offer shade, water talking cottonwoods and drop offs that mask the visible prairie horizon line giving us a chance to leap into the sky.
This field study above the Paint Creek drainage provides a mid fall color base, the lush scale of mature grasses contrasting western cottonwoods and a blue green vaporous atmosphere.