Like sand prairies, loess hill prairies developed on post glacial wind deposits. The fine silt particles and chemical makeup of loess allow its eroded landforms to become rather steep. Indeed, I was surprised to find some slopes at Revis Hill Prairie, an Illinois Nature Preserve, too steep to climb. In this spring view, with daylight fading, I was struck both by the pronounced terrain and the tawny clumps of last year’s grasses. Unlike Fults Hill Prairie which I had visited earlier that day, this section of Revis had not been burned in the prior season. After painting until dark, I descended the slopes accompanied by a night hawk swooping and calling along the wooded edge below.
Painted on location. Canvas mounted to hardboard.
May 1 - September 12, 2021
Chicago Botanic Garden
The Long View, Prairie Paintings from Illinois Nature Preserves
June 24, 2022 - February 5, 2023
Illinois State Museum at Dickson Mounds
10956 N. Dickson Mounds Rd. Lewistown, Illinois
Picturing the Prairie: A Vision of Restoration
Published in conjunction with Philip’s 2021 exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Contributors include: Philip Juras, artist and author; Hank Paulson, foreword; and Stephen Packard, essay. Published by Little Bluestem Press, Athens, GA, 2021.