Love Letter, 30" x 40", oil on canvas

This Artist’s Paintings Invite Reflection on Western Landscapes

Jody Chapel is an artist living in the Four Corners area of Colorado. She is forever in awe of the natural beauty that is just outside her door and she enjoys hiking, kayaking and horseback riding in the nearby public lands.

This painting, titled “Love Letter,” was influenced by the land that surrounds my home in the San Juan National Forest in southern Colorado. It is part of a series called “WESTISH: Observations and Reflections on the Western Landscape,” in which many of the paintings have the suggestion of a story, a moment in time. I would like the viewer to make up a narrative that is meant to pose questions. What is the message the raven is delivering? Does the forest on fire have something important to tell us, or do we have something to tell it? Would we plea for forgiveness or make promises? Would we thank it for all that public lands give us or would it tell us to be kind and use its resources responsibly? There is no right or wrong story and although there are no humans in the scene, we are at the core of it, and our relationship with the land is at its heart. How will we take care of that relationship?

To see more of Jody’s work visit


Would you like to write about public lands that you cherish? Please email Mary Jo Brooks at for guidelines. You’ll get this sticker as a thank you.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
National Wildlife Federation — Our Public Lands

National Wildlife Federation — Our Public Lands

The National Wildlife Federation public lands program advocates for our public lands and waters, wildlife and the right of every American to enjoy them.