As a kid growing up on the NW side of Chicago, we didn't know how fortunate we were to have what we called "The Prairie" at the end of our block. This prairie consisted of several connected remnants, odd shaped lots that were left to grow wild, and the wild things did indeed grow there. And as kids often do when given free time and land to roam, wild, imaginative and some unmentionable adventures grew out of that prairie. (Picture "Lord of the Flies" and you won't be far off) Well anyway, one of the wild flowers that grows there is called Prairie Dock, we nicknamed them elephant ears.
In our recent walk through Crabtree Nature Center this week we came across a field of Prairie Dock, and I was instantly transported back to a 10 year old child and all the fond memories, sweet smells and warm sounds of summer play in The Prairie. In this simple 9x12 oil I wanted to capture the interconnected patterns of the prairie grasses and these floppy "elephant ears" poking up, flapping and clapping with its neighbor. Their applause reminding me of a time when life was simple, and adventure was available to anyone with imagination.