Late summer in the Midwest

There is something really beautiful in all of the landscapes from every part of this country. It is easy to be awestruck by glorious mountain ranges, huge canyons, or amazing seascapes. We take pictures of saturated sunrise or sunsets over our favorite spots be it hillside, lake or ocean. We marvel at the color and the light and the majesty of rock and field and at the emensity of prairie and desert and timbered ranges. I am awed and humbled with every single view.

Equal to the awe born of the grander aspects of the land are the inspirations found in the beautiful details. Each blooming flower and perching bird, flashing all of the colored plumage that God has chosen to cloak them with, stand as testament to His attention to detail. I hope we do notice that colored stone, the dropped feather, and the blossom that emerges sometimes overnight. We are right to celebrate those amazing details.

As long as painters have selected worthy images to paint, or photographers seek something notable to photograph, we have celebrated the wonder of the beauty around us. The painting I started yesterday after our morning drive is just a subtle reminder that the postcard miracle shots are just the tip of the iceberg of the incredible beauty that surrounds us disguised in the subtle midground every day, every where.

Each time we go for a drive I take the opportunity to take a few pictures with the eye on the beautiful rolling hills of the Midwest. Here, in late summer, I see treelines that rest relatively unimpressive between the new Spring greens and the Fall blaze of colors that are coming soon. Now is when prairie flowers are often confined to mowed edges and we don’t redily see the dusty weed banks steadfastly attending the shade of the majestic country trees as the grand gardens they truly are.

I heartily encourage you to hop in your car and go for a quick drive in the country. Don’t think about the highway and of the 30 minutes down the road that you need to go to find a park or some other pre-established destination with entertainment. I mean make a loop on a gravel road. Slow down. Take a second look at how blue that sky is, how amazing the shadows are across that road, how the light is playing among the treelines, and look at the amazing prairie flowers along the mowed ditches. Celebrate the beauty of the details. It will help you start to see all of those subtle, beautiful details in your life that get lost in the planned trip.

I have really enjoyed my weekend so far. I hope you’re enjoying yours, as well. Today’s painting is a 16″ by 20″ oil on canvas called, “The Road Less Traveled”.