The Northwest 40
Pastel 19h x 27w in. unframed
“The Northwest 40” (19x27) painted en plein air, Sunday morning, at the corner of Hunter Bay and Cousins Rds., just before these bales were hauled-off to a barn storage. My Idaho roots still play a big role in making subject matter choices. Even after 45 years living on Lopez Island, the local hay fields in summer feel like a homing beacon to that rural connection in southern Idaho. I always try for early morning or late evening light, which amplifies the presence of these enormous bales and allows a little visual trickery to set an otherwise static stage into motion.
For this field it was the deep violets and blue-greens in the distant trees, which laid the setting for brighter, warmer colors to give life to the large bale and stubble . . . still active from mowing, especially along the edges, where shadow meets light.
To me, there’s nothing more comforting than these fields in summer, even with vultures circling overhead. Because I know, that just like a bad dream, those will fly away.