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Iâ€™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, â€œYou know, I visited Nebraska once. Big sky out thereâ€“almost scary.â€ As artists, weâ€™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 doesnâ€™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.
Also by Brett Erickson
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