Mixed Media on
Paper, 61.5 x 84”,
Gift of Theodore
Waddell (1997.10)
More info


Dennis Voss was born in 1948 and was raised on a ranch in western Nebraska. He studied ceramic sculpture at Chadron State College, Murray State University, and the University of Kentucky before becoming a professor at Montana State University. Voss is known as a great draftsman and sculptor, and for his performance art pieces. His art mainly focused on isolation, distance and survival in western ranch culture. After teaching and making art throughout Montana in the seventies and eighties, Dennis Voss became a full time rancher in 1986. He currently lives and works with his wife on Horse Butte Ranch in Two Dot, Montana.


Questions For Viewing:

First, always take a few moments to really look at the artwork.

VTS Questions

  • What do you think is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What else do you see in this picture?

Additional Questions

  • Where do you thing the horizon line is? 
  • Even though there is a lot going on, when you look closely do you see a horizon line?
  • Is this artwork realistic or abstract? Can it be both?
  • Describe the lines and shapes in this artwork. What do you think they mean?
  • What art materials did the artist use?
  • How do you think the artist was feeling when he created this artwork?

Art Vocabulary

  • Landscape: All the visible features of an area of countryside or land.
  • Abstract Art: Art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, forms, colors, and textures.
  • Horizon Line: A physical/visual boundary where sky separates from land or water.

Lesson Plans: Mixed Media Imagined Landscapes

Lesson Overview: Using simple, light weight, found objects – string, buttons, paper clips, popsicle sticks, etc. – students will create their own abstract landscape of a place that is important to them.


National Standards:

  • VA:Cr2.1.4a: Explore and invent art-making techniques and approaches.
  • VA:Cr2.2.4a: When making works of art, utilize and care for materials, tools, and equipment in a manner that prevents danger to oneself and others.
  • VA:Re.7.2.4a: Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.
  • VA:Cn11.1.4a: Through observation, infer information about time, place, and culture in which a work of art was created.

Montana Standards:

  • Anchor Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Apply research to art-making for the purpose of communicating about constructed environments.
  • Anchor Standard #8: Construct meaningful interpretations of artistic works. Analyze subject matter, form, and use of media in artwork.
  • Anchor Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.


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