As an artist living on the Ausable River, I am passionate about preserving our Michigan lakes, rivers, and Great Lakes. Using birch bark as the main medium, I have chosen to depict a Native American traversing a pristine river to illustrate the co-dependence between nature and those who protect it. Native Americans respected our land, the wildlife on the land and our waters, saying that water was “the giver of life”. Though this is an oil painting, the hand sewn birch canoe, the paddle, hands and arms are from real (ethically harvested) birch bark and extend toward the viewer, creating a dimensional aspect. This piece is meant to be both a celebration of the magnificent beauty we enjoy and a reminder of what we have to lose.
Oil painting on board with attached birch bark pieces.