The Grassland Series


     

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Fine Art

Bow Island Dusk (48 by 72" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection

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Bow Island Dusk (48 by 72" acrylic on canvas) In Private Collection
This painting is very special to me, and very large as well. The area to the north of the town of Bow Island Alberta consists of a large expanse of grazing land, which to me is the next best thing to a truly native prairie. Here pronghorn, Elk and Mule deer roam freely across these open plains, along with Rattle, Bull, and Garter snakes and many other grassland species. During the spring when I was 22 years old I headed out to this area for a day on a weekend to sketch and just have a get away from school for a day. I go to this area frequently as it is always full of life, especially compared to the agricultural lands which exist near by. On this day however I could really feel spring time coming and the landscape and this area was really starting to tug at my heart strings. It was a very productive day for me in terms of creating art and gathering references and exploring. I was headed for home when I saw this Golden eagle sitting on the ground, it flew over a small hill (known as "knolls") where I went to sneak up on it with my camera. Once I surfaced the ridge it flew and I was able to capture a split second view of the eagle sitting atop a glacial erratic before it flew away. I stood at the crest of that knoll in amazement as the sun had just set and I found myself looking over one of the largest expanses of grassland I'd ever seen. It was then when I realized that as much as most of us (me included) complain about how there is so much destruction going on in our world today, there are still beautiful pristine places which can have a sacred impact on us in some way if we just stop and enjoy what is around us. Even though the majority of the grasslands region has been lost to agriculture in Canada, there are still vast expanses of it remaining which stretch as far as the eye can see. Even though this area I was at near Bow Island, isn't quite entirely native prairie as it is rangeland for cattle to graze, it is still a lot more diverse and pristine than the agricultural land that this land could have fallen victim too as so much other land has.
Posted on October 24, 2013
Colin Starkevich