Inspired by Colbee Benton’s 1833 description of a marsh on the nearby Fox River and personal observations of a July 2015 sunrise on Bateman Road at the Spring Lake Preserve, this marsh scene recreates the open view across Spring Creek valley as it might have appeared before European settlement.
… I could but think what a view for a painter of landscapes, the marsh extending as far as the eye could see, covered with the thick high grass, and the little cluster of tall and bright green tamaracks in the center, and the marsh surrounded by groves of oak extending on here and there. Altogether the view was most splendid and far beyond the powers of a painter to describe. (Colbee Benton, A Visitor to Chicago in Indian Days: “Journal to the ‘Far-Off West’”, 1833)
Species depicted include:
Common water plantain (Alisma subcordatum)
Wild mint (Mentha canadensis)
River bulrush (Bolboschoenus fluviatilis)
Narrow-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)
Water pepper (Persicaria punctata)
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Spring Lake Preserve location: https://goo.gl/maps/2Fhg9ykpjgH6Lmw47
Studio painting – February.
May 1 - September 12, 2021
Chicago Botanic Garden
June 9 - October 21, 2023
Illinois State Museum - Lockport Gallery
201 West 10th Street, Lockport, Illinois
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.