Twenty years ago, Rod founded Heron Dance, a nonprofit literary and art studio. In the beginning it was a newsletter of interviews, essays and excerpts from books. He now works as an independent artist, offering prints and original paintings of his nature art on this website. You can read more about Rod and his background here.
Heron Dance has closed, but throughout its existence Heron Dance books and other publications explored the human connection to the natural world; they celebrated creativity and the human search for meaning. Heron Dance published calendars and notecards, journals, a book arts collection and 64 quarterly issues.
Now, Roderick focuses solely on painting.
Some thoughts by Rod on his art, and on art in general:
Erase the lines: I pray you not to love classifications.
The thing is like a river, from source to sea-mouth one flowing life.
- Robinson Jeffers, Monument
Since childhood, my life and art have been nourished and inspired by time in wild places, by cycles larger than the concerns of man. The deep silence and deep peace of wild places, and yes even the great struggle to cling to life, the precious gift of life, are at the center of my work. I try to express reverence for the mystery and beauty of wild places. I try, I paint over and over, in an effort to honor the places I love and the sense of freedom I’ve found there.
Robinson Jeffers’ words “one flowing life” capture my imagination. I think I know what he means. In my art, I try to flow, to capture the essence and spirit of that great flowing life, of struggle and silence and peace. I try to express the spirit and essence rather than the details which often distract. Even the river, from source to sea-mouth, has a life. Capturing that in painting is the center of my creative life.
Partial List of Credits:
- North Atlantic Books, an affiliate of Random House, has republished many Heron Dance titles, all containing the writing and nature art of Roderick MacIver, including Thoreau and the Art of Life, Art as a Way of Life, The Heron Dance Book of Love & Gratitude, Earth My Likeness, and The Laws of Nature. These books can be viewed on Amazon by clicking here.
- Gifts from the Mountain: Simple Truths for Life’s Complexities by Eileen McDargh. Published by Barrett-Koehler.
- Kristin’s Wilderness by Garrett Conover. Published by Raven Words.
- Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values Third Edition. By John C. Hendee and Chad P. Dawson. Published by Fulcrum Publishing.
Magazines, Calendars and Catalogs:
- Bioneers Conference Catalog
- The Cougar Rewilding Foundation
- Earth Island Journal
- Fish & Fly
- Friends Journal
- Ministry of the Arts
- Nastagan, The Journal of the Wilderness Canoe Association
- One Spirit Catalog
- Pomegranate 2008 Calendar
- Progressive Christian
- ROWE Conference Center
- Spirit and Nature
- Timberlake Farm
- Wild Earth
- Wooden Canoe
- Zen Mountain Monastery
Wilderness Protection Groups:
- Ministry of the Arts
- Northeast Wilderness Trust
- RESTORE: The North Woods
- Raincoast Conservation Society
- Sky Island Alliance
- The Wild Foundation
- Numerous private collections
- Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem, Oregon
- University of Louisiana, Baton Rouge
- University of California, Davis
Rod continues to donate signed, limited-edition prints and the use of his art to wilderness protection groups and other nonprofits. More information, contact Rod at rodmaciver(at)gmail(dot)com.
Heron Dance got its name from a photograph Rod took in 1990 of a heron in Florida:
This photograph is of a Louisiana, or Tri-Color, heron at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida. It was taken at sunset, and the heron was dancing as part of its feeding efforts—stirring up crabs on the bottom of the lake, which was only a few inches deep. The result is a dance of wonderful beauty—the avian version of ballet.
To read a description of our e-journal, A Pause For Beauty, visit here.