Call it fear of trying to paint snow or obsession, but on the first winter weather day of the season, I found myself painting the wheat fields in Eastern Washington.
This is the second version in progress – a barn that needs to be resized, details to be added. I’m hypnotized by the lines and soft colors but also by the magnitude of humanity’s fingerprint on this land that was mostly desert before modern irrigation allowed aquifers to be tapped. It is at once wild and the ultimate symbol of land tamed, of plenty being created in a country that somehow still has millions of people living with food insecurity.
The decaying barn was the only building interrupting the swaths of wheat in this stretch of field by the highway, but it reminded me how fleeting human accomplishments can be and how long our fingerprint can stay on the land – for good or for ill.