‘Tis the season for small works. Lots of galleries stage small works shows about this time of year because small works of art can make special but affordable gifts. They are fun to make as well. Mine are typically prints that range in size from 5×5 framed 10×10 up to 7×7 framed 12×12.
The Kansas City Stockyards Gallery invited Ladies of the Night and 5th Position for their Holiday Small Works show. Ladies of the Night is from my trip to Cost Rica in 2019. These elegant “ladies” are wild orchids called “Lady of the Night” (Brassavola nodosa). They were growing high on a tree near Matapalo Beach on the Osa Peninsula, on the shaded side of the tree facing the rain forest that comes right up to the edge of the sand. I was there at just the right time to capture the ladies getting their daily kiss of light through an opening in the rain forest canopy.
The source of 5th Position is local and humble, albeit equally beautiful. Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolious) is plentiful in Louisiana, coloring our road ditches and meadows gold in the late summer. After the flowers are gone, the leaves die and dry into the most elegant forms. Looks quite like a ballerina in 5th position, don’t you think?
I’m well represented in Kansas City this year! Palm Psalm III and Tracking Tide: Peace Offering II are at the Jones Gallery for their December Group Show. The Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) on Dauphin Island never disappoint. Because they grow taller than our local species (Dwarf Palmetto [Sabal minor]), it’s easier to catch them with sun light illuminating every detail of their structure and coloration.
To be honest, I have never been big on beaching. I have no patience AT ALL with lying in the sun. But beach-walking is my newest passion. Tracking Tide: Peace Offering II is a result of my finally noticing the complex patterns made by the tiny foam edge of successive waves interacting with the texture and color of the sand, not to mention pebbles and fragments of shell. Adding to the fascination, these “paintings” of line, texture and color formed by the waves are totally ephemeral. The next slightly bigger wave or turn of the tide wipes the “canvas” clean. Indeed, that exact thing happened! While I was carefully framing and focusing on a pattern, a wave washed over my feet and it was gone before I could trip the shutter.
Kansas City Stockyards Gallery is in Suite 161 at 1600 Genessee Street, Kansas City, Mo. The Holiday Small Works Show will be there until January 13, 2022. The Jones Gallery is at 1717 Walnut St., Kansas City, Mo. The December Group Show will end December 31.