Emilie’s solo time on the prairie comes to an end as she welcomes much-anticipated visitors. With the change in season, the prairie roars to life and she reflects on the passing of time in the wide-open.
It’s hard to believe I have less than a week left out here on the American Prairie Reserve. When I arrived, the landscape was cold and gray. “Greenup” is in full swing, spring shoots are coming up from under the blanket of dry dead grass and wildflowers are everywhere.
After being alone for three weeks, I can see how people who’ve spent their entire lives here feel such a strong bond with the land. With something like 2 square miles per person in this area, the land takes on a personality of its own. Its shifting moods and seasonal changes speak as loudly here as the mass of humanity does back in New York City.
On Sunday, my solo retreat ended when my father Charlie and his friend Steve came out for a visit from Vermont, and yesterday I was joined by photographer Eugenie Frerichs. She’s been shooting photos while I’m painting and Jessica Kilroy is out on the prairie right now recording the morning birdsong to use in some music she is composing. For months the three of us planned this rendezvous on the reserve and now it’s finally happening. We’re all very excited! It is a privilege to collaborate together while embedded in this amazing conservation project.
By the weekend Eugenie, Jessica and I will be headed to Telluride to share the results of our work at Mountainfilm festival. From May 22-26 all these paintings will be at the Stronghouse gallery accompanied by a sample of Jessica’s music. It’s a great chance to share my work this far with an interested public and receive feedback before I head back to NYC and into the studio, where I will begin the mural- sized paintings I have in my head that will ultimately define this experience.
Learn what inspired Emilie to get involved with the American Prairie Reserve here.
New Yorkers: For those of you curious to learn more about the American Prairie Reserve, enjoy an evening on the Prairie with Tom Brokaw on Tuesday, May 19th at the American Museum of Natural History. Absolute Travel will be there! More details here: Evening on the Prairie.