While looking for inspiration for an Americana-themed piece I browsed the American Folk Art Museum’s online collection. I found many beautiful paintings of pastoral landscapes from years past. I was struck by the orderliness depicted in some of them- clean rows of crops extending from the lawns of well-placed farmhouses. I thought about how much work must have gone into planting and tending those organized rows. In my piece, I wanted to depict the labor and struggles endured during the times surrounding those idyllic scenes. The farmers in my piece are working to clear out a space in a tall-grass prairie. The landscape is volatile, the plants grow wild and the weather is unpredictable. Americana, to me, can definitely mean celebrating the beauty and drama of America’s landscape, but it can also mean celebrating the efforts of its people.