Square One: Grasses
Grasses, this plant form is so common and literally underfoot that many of us barely take notice. My own interest in the grasses beneath my feet and along the trail side began when I was raising Morgan horses, I found so much satisfaction in seeing a beautiful horse standing in a field of grass. During that period I saw grasses as a food source for my horses and an element of the natural beauty surrounding me.
My appreciation of grasses was enhanced later on while serving as a docent at Point Lobos State Reserve, on the California coast. A visiting biologist spoke of the importance of grasses in the food chain and referred to them as square one. They are found not only terrestrially but beneath the seas as well, in the forms of delicately swaying meadow grasses to the undulating Giant Kelp, supporting creatures great and small.
Currently my appreciation of these exquisite forms occurs in northern New Mexico. The ubiquitous presence of Indian Ricegrass, Side Oats Grama, Big Bluestem and so many more enrich my views on a daily basis, sometimes with a gentle nod or a chaotic jumble of stems delicately colored. They demand that I take note and inspire me to pay homage through my paintings, to that which helps to make life possible. These paintings are an offering in appreciation of square one. - Natalie Bieser