If you stood in front of the house where I spent my early years, you could throw a rock in two directions and hit corn. The other two directions would hit a cemetery and a vacant lot—both of which served as playgrounds for us kids in the neighborhood. I was born and raised in the small town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where cornfields, pig farms, and dairy operations dominated the landscape. There was plenty of beautiful open space, and it was all agricultural land. This instilled in me a deep appreciation for farming; I think it explains why, years later, I am often drawn to paint scenes that include those elements.
For the last eight years, I have participated in the annual art show that benefits the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, which works to preserve land resources in Marin County, California. As a participant in this show, I have access to dozens of ranches in Marin and their livestock. One operation in particular has drawn my interest—a beautiful 1,200-acre spread with beef cattle, sheep, rolling hills, and spectacular views of Tomales Bay. Many of the paintings featured here were created to portray and help preserve this inspiring agricultural landscape.