About the Artist:
John Ruskey has been exploring, photographing and painting the Lower Mississippi River over a time span of four decades. He is worker bee in the colony of the his queen, the Lower Mississippi River. He carves canoes, paints, and guides others into the wildest place remaining in the center of North America, the verdant floodplain of the big river, which reaches fullness in her last thousand miles of free-flowing joy to the Gulf of Mexico. His passion for nature finds expression in music, painting, writing and canoe building. The canoe is a unique art form that brings together the purest principals of form, function and materials into one integral and elegant vessel. This artist paints canoes, rivers, insects, animals, fish, and wild spirits in scenes depicting the balance between civilization and mother earth. John has explored and painted many of the major rivers of North America, including the Mississippi, the Yukon, the Gila, the Yazoo, the Big Sunflower, the Big Black, the Tallahatchie, the Colorado, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, the Platte, the Columbia, the Missouri, and the Atchafalaya. He paddles and paints in custom-carved dugout and stripper canoes, in watercolor, using water and sediments drawn from the river as medium. Most paintings are plein aire. John finds pathways in the wildness of the world and is inspired by the expressions of creation thriving over the levee, in the floodplain of the big river. He seeks balance for humanity with the rest of creation, all five million species and counting, especially as global overpopulation and thirst for fresh water and energy sources are threatening the fecund forests and islands of the Lower Mississippi Valley.
John Ruskey - Clarksdale, Mississippi 2023