I am a lifelong creator with too many day jobs. Officially I’m a professional gardener/landscaper and restoration ecologist. I live in the quiet middle of nowhere outside of Ovando, Montana (pop 50), where grizzlies walk through my yard and moose step over the fences. In my spare time I shovel snow, create ridiculous paper mache animals, and now have begun painting with acrylic and mixed media.
I started this series thinking about what is native, and what is non-native here in the American west. I began by creating a portrait of a longhorn (non-native) that I met while working on a ranch in southwestern Montana (Longhorn #1). I continued exploring portraits of western wildlife with bison (native), and worked out an interesting portrait of a bison behind….or beyond a cage (Bison Breakout). I have been working on the Ranch Dog painting (Ranch Dog Knows the Lay of the Land) for months, and when I finally got him right, I knew he would be a helpful member of the native/non native series. He, like many of us westerners, is built out of layers of topography, rooted in the land. Dogs, while not native, per se, have teamed up with humans for thousands of years here in the west. I suppose he resides somewhere in the dusty middle.