Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Mystery of the Mosasaur

I have a serious bone to pick with South Dakota's very near and dear neighbor to the south.

Mosasaur Sign

Why is there only a picture of this sign, you ask? Why are there no further photos of a mosasaur mount or an excavation site? Why are there no pictures of a museum, a single fossil, or even so much as a small plaque marking where a mosasaur was once discovered? I don't know, Nebraska, why is that...? WHERE'S THE MOSASAUR, NEBRASKA?

On a trip to visit family in Nebraska last weekend, we stopped at Niobrara State Park. We were just planning to stop at some scenic overlooks and get an idea of the hiking options, mostly checking out the park for future visits when we'd have more time. But then we saw this sign and I got giddy with thoughts of mosasaur possibilites.

The arrow pointed to a hillside covered in wind-blown grasses; no mosasaur or even promising looking rocks in sight. With no other signs and no mention of mosasaurs on the park map, we decided there must be something mosasaur related on the nearest hiking trail that went in the general direction the arrow was pointing. But after an hour or so of searching on foot, we found no further clues of a mosasaur and/or any kind of excavation site. We drove the entire park, still turned up nothing, and with sighs of great disappointment were forced to leave completely mosasaur-less.

The first thing I did when I got home from the trip was start Googling for answers about this elusive "excavation site of mosasaur". It has only brought me more questions. The official website for Niobrara State Park mentions it in passing with no specifics:

"Visitors may want to check out the site of the mosasaurus palentological [sic] find, an important one, since it was the first complete fossil of its kind found in Nebraska." 

An important one, eh...? Seriously, where's the mosasaur?


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Art & Wine Walk Update

I have only a few photos from after the Art & Wine Walk was pretty much over. The turnout was great, especially considering that the local weather forecast was basically THE END OF THE WORLD as we know it. It turned out to be a brisk but generally nice autumn evening in Sioux Falls, while west river South Dakota was hit with a massive blizzard. Whew!

DTSF Art & Wine Walk

DTSF Art & Wine Walk

DTSF Art & Wine Walk

DTSF Art & Wine Walk

I brought two watercolor pieces with me to work on and made it this far on one of them (above).

Thank you to all who stopped by the Book Shop, whether close family or meeting for the first time - I never have enough time to spend talking with everyone who comes out for events like these, but your presence and support is sincerely appreciated!

If you have photos from the event you'd like to share, email me at and I'll post or link to them here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DTSF First Friday Art & Wine Walk

This Friday, October 4th, I will be the working artist at the Book Shop for the Art & Wine Walk from 5 to 9 pm. I took part in this event last Spring and it was definitely a fun experience! This time I'll be working with watercolor on paper.

Art & Wine Walk
Visit the DTSF website for the details of the event and a list of the other artists that will be participating. If you only have time for a few stops, I highly recommend Monks House of Ale Repute where a couple of my fellow USD painting alumni will be stationed: T.J. Donovan and Andres Torres. Also, Michael Hill, longtime ceramics professor at USD, will be at Rehfeld's gallery.

New Painting: "Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3"

It's been a rather long summer hiatus from blogging here but I have new work to share in coming weeks. I'm finally getting around to scanning and photographing new stuff.

You might find something slightly familiar about this piece: it's one I started during last Spring's Art & Wine Walk. It has changed drastically since I last shared it, but pieces of the early layers remain. I've titled this painting Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3.

Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3

It's acrylic on canvas, 18 by 18 inches square. As always, photos can't capture all the detail of the original but the colors are fairly accurate in these. The difference in finish doesn't show well - some layers are very glossy, other parts have a different kind of reflective sheen from the use of iridescent medium.

Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3 (detail)

Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3 (detail)

Mega Annum Ammonite Experiment 3 (detail)

I'm working with this in a series of three paintings with the same title, possibly more depending on how the other two come out.