psalm 173​

​In hiking the forest in the Green Mountains you will come across these ancient walls. These walls were built 200 years ago using oxen and stoneboats. They were a way to use all of the stone left in the soil after the glaciers retreated. All of Vermont was agricultural in the past so there are thousands of miles of walls across the landscape. If you dig or plow the soil here you can’t help but unearth field stone. The easiest thing for the farmers to do was build walls with all the stone both to delineate property lines and fields and keep in animals.

These walls lend a sense of time and history to the landscape. Since Vermont has substantially reforested over the last century most of the walls are in deep forest now. The juxtaposition of the wildness of the forest with the hand-wrought aspect of these ancient walls I find moving. They show the temporality of our existence on the land.

You may ask why I call this series of paintings psalms? Psalms are sacred songs in praise of the spirit. These paintings are in praise of the spirit in nature.  This theme reinforces my quest to include spirituality in my work.

#2120201, psalm 173
28×22, oil on linen

Contact Roger to purchase this painting or commission a work.