Years ago, I faced a TV news interviewer to talk about a forest that was about to be destroyed. I was like a deer caught in a car headlights; I actually fled into the forest. I absolutely could not do it.
Everything has changed. KSMQ Public Television's award-winning creative team has just produced a half-hour film featuring my adventures into the Upper Mississippi River blufflands. From the start, it was fascinating to be with this team. They were inquisitive, professional, and fun to be around. I was thrilled to lead them into the heart of the Driftless Area. We hiked up bluffs to river overlooks, navigated narrow paths (with bulky camera equipment!) to hidden rock shelters, and sat around the kitchen tables of landowners who have chosen to protect their land forever. I found deep commitment from everyone around me. The resulting video captures the heart and spirit of the land and its people. It tells my story of creating a body of work to share the diversity and beauty of this region with others, the process of creating paintings from nature, and brings attention to regional conservation land trusts whose staff work with interested individuals to preserve the natural landscape.
O.k. I admit to still being camera shy, but this is a story much bigger than me. It is about the place we live, the need to think about what we value most and want to leave for the future, and the spirit of nature to touch us all. Thank you KSMQ Public TV!