I’ve been told many times my landscape work looks different: I often place the horizon line low, allowing the sky and clouds to build their strength through much of the frame. Those same clouds are a hallmark of many of my best landscapes, creating lines and drama to complement the land.
I think that approach is due to my Great Plains roots. The prominent western painter George Dee Smith once told me, “You know, I visited Nebraska once. Big sky out there–almost scary.” As artists, we’re influenced by our surroundings, even as children; that same sky must have permeated my dreams and definitions of the world from such a young age that the photograph doesn’t feel quite right without those heavens stretching powerfully above the horizon.
This shot, made in early May as a severe storm advanced relentlessly across the high plains and Pine Ridge, gave me that same feeling.