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 what it means to be human. Heron Dance published calendars and notecards, journals, a book arts collection and 64 quarterly issues.
Now, Rod focuses solely on painting but early each morning, A Pause for Beauty, is published in e-format -- a daily email that about 11,000 people have signed up for. Each contains a Roderick MacIver painting and reflection on the art of life from his past work. It's free. You can sign up here.
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.
- Links to these books which are available either new or used: All of these books feature Rod's art in full color. .
- 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.
To read a description of our e-journal, A Pause For Beauty, visit here.