This painting is one of the first I created decades ago, inspired by a black and white image of an ancestor.
My work before this had been minimal scenes of empty rooms, doors and windows of light and shadows. Turned vertically, this painting started as a wall, door frame, and light and sky. I looked at it horizontally and realized that it was a classic landscape horizon line. I love painting the shapes of shadows, so I painted this figure of my great grandpa and the shadow shape that anchored him to the ground.
I became from that time on, intrigued with the way a very minimal canvas without detail can be a wonderful contrast to a detailed figure placed in it. These images are so much like the actual experience of Montana, the open spaces, the big sky, the solitary individuals who sparsely populate this state.
The life of a farmer or rancher is completely affected by weather. If hail comes, if there is no rain, if there is too much rain or snow, all this is part of the outdoor life of farmers and ranchers.
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