I think that the one thing that passersby on Highway 22 first notice is the many rows of hay loaves lined up in the rolling Walton ranch fields. Of course, the ranch has many other outstanding views including the magnificent Tetons and the herd of grazing cattle, but the hay loaves have always attracted my attention. Maybe it’s because I marvel at the productivity of the land and how this beautiful property has been spared from the development backhoes.
I decided that I would paint a scene that folks see from the highway, and maybe they will ask why that land is still operating as a ranch amid all the growth surrounding it. The day was ideal for an artist, with grey skies broken up by sunshine rays and the wonderful warm tones of the hay loaves. I simplified the composition by eliminating much of the surrounding foliage and softening the tones of the background hills. The hay then became the dominant image in the painting. I hope that this painting will inspire the viewer to appreciate this beautiful ranch and be thankful for the overwhelming generosity of the Walton family and their gift to us all.