Lazy summer afternoon doldrums were no match for the excitement of exploring and then capturing an impression of the real McCoy, a small piece of the original Grand Prairie of Illinois. Established in 1859 and never plowed, this segment of Prospect Cemetery, just a few acres in size, had all the colorful diversity I would have imagined in a high-quality black soil prairie remnant. Prominent in the view I selected were prairie dock, blazing star, rattlesnake master, big bluestem, and the dormant heads of coneflowers—and there was so much more and in every direction. I would not have had any subjects to choose from had the state not dedicated this cemetery as a preserve in 1976.
Painted on location. Canvas mounted to hardboard.
May 1 - September 12, 2021
Chicago Botanic Garden
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.