Paradise Farmstead 24" x 36" oil on canvas (sold)

Process
My passion and purpose is to capture the land at its best—being worked.  The energy of that magnificent struggle—the give, and take; the sweet and the bitter sweet—is what I try to capture in my landscape paintings. 

With so much of our land in Montana being bought up, I ache when I see beautiful rich fields where soil which has been tended and nurtured, planted and cut, for generations---now lays fallow, with little chance of ever being worked again. So, when I come upon the magnificence of planted fields, I can feel the energy and my interest is to paint that energy.

This old homestead in the Paradise Valley (left) has been leased by Lane Klompein for the past 17 years.  His family settled in Amsterdam in the  1920’s just about the time when the Blackwoods came to the Gallatin Valley.  Lane told me the 1st cutting production this year is up 50% from last year which was a good year.  Cutting and bailing begins at 4am each morning in order to capture the cooler part of these hot days. Lane came by  my easel about 8:15 pm last night—a very long day.

Guts of Montanans - There was a WW2 naval officer I met on an amazing trip in South America.  He said that during his naval career the boys who were never late for any watch, always arrived ready to do anything, and eager to take on double duties if need be were Montanans.  I just loved hearing that  story 18 years ago when I had just moved here.

These stories about the land, the homesteaders, and the ranchers all add to the energy of my paintings.  They make the canvas come alive.  They give me a purpose and meaning, almost as if I am part of the family but only until the painting is complete. And then the story moves on to the collector.