Erin O’Connor

Since its christening in 1920, the R Lazy S Ranch has rested sweetly between the mountains and the river on the Moose-Wilson Road.  There were countless times when the ranch could have easily dissolved into a dusty footnote in Jackson Hole’s history – succumbing to pressure from the newly formed GTNP which came to surround it, or evaporating at the end of that 20 yr lease.   It would’ve been easier not to move the original cabins down the Snake River dike to a new location.  It would’ve been a lot easier to sell that land – it’d been surveyed for a 60 house subdivision.

But sometimes you listen to your heart.  Sometimes you decide that your story will be about lifelong friends and perseverance.  You navigate new territory.  You keep following your dreams.

Kelly Stirn spent summers at the R Lazy S long before he came to own it.  We walked around this spring, prior to any guest arrivals.  It was quiet, and he talked about other ranch cabins that’d found new lives here.  We stopped to admire the old Sinclair gas pump beside the maintenance shed, also lovingly restored.  Two fuzzy burros grazed nearby;  he was coaxing them to be friendly with the guests.

Sometimes you see the value before anyone else.  Is it any wonder that, in 1981, the R Lazy S was the first donation to the Jackson Hole Land Trust?

I painted there in a tumultuous evening thunderstorm, and again later on a silent sunny morning with only a cautious doe as my witness.  Elsewhere, guests were drinking coffee, or putting their boot into a stirrup, or laughing – or maybe, for the first time in ages, choosing to just relax.

It’s struck me that there are a thousand and one love stories at the ranch.  First kisses.  Summer romances.  Marriages mended after a long strain.  The honest scent of a horse you came to trust.  The animal who paused to meet your eyes, reminding you of your own wild heart.  Cold mountain rain and the pungent smell of sagebrush sustaining you like a psalm.

There have been so many changes in the valley.  But the R Lazy S Ranch remains.  And with it, the chance to remember what’s essential.

– Erin O’Connor

Taylor Glenn

I believe that Art and Conservation go hand in hand. I joined the View22 Project for the opportunity to share with our community why it is important to preserve these beautiful places, by creating beautiful imagery to communicate this idea.

This summer, I had the great privilege to spend time photographing at the incredible R Lazy S Ranch here in Jackson Hole. The R Lazy S was the very first property to be protected under the efforts of the Land Trust, and the Stirn family who operates the ranch are the most delightful folks. I am grateful to Kelly Stirn for allowing me to spend a few wonderful mornings out at the ranch, and thrilled to have the opportunity to create art that works towards conservation efforts.

The title of this piece is “Summer Morning at R Lazy S”, and it is 1 of 1. The View22 exhibit at the Land Trust picnic is a special event, so I wanted to make something unique and singular.

– Taylor Glenn

R Lazy S Ranch Painting Session – September 4, 2014

In early September, the light in the mountains of Jackson Hole quickens and sharpens, and a sense of fall and winter to come is so evident in the air. I had the good fortune to be assigned to paint at the R Lazy S Guest Ranch in September, courtesy of the Stirn family. The family has protected the entire 350-acre ranch with a conservation easement.

As a result, the ranch is “so near and yet so far” from the bustling Teton Village, even though it nearly adjoins the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. It is spectacularly quiet, with unsurpassed Teton vantage points, groves of aspen trees and wonderful traditional log buildings and barns.

I chose my painting spot near the corrals looking over one of the preserved original buildings (from the old “Aspen Ranch”) to highlight the changing color of the trees. What beautiful weather! What a unique location!

As the afternoon and my painting progressed, my only company had been two friendly mares in the corral… but I was soon to learn about the heart and soul of R Lazy S – riding! From four or five directions, guests on horseback, wranglers, and guides descended on the corrals and barns. It was a beehive of activity for an hour or more as they all arrived from their afternoon trail rides. What fun! And the best for me was to see a young guide whom I’ve known all his life but seldom see these days…Rob Brennan.

I had begun a 12 x 16 panel, and as the light began to fade, soon realized that I would have to return to the Ranch for another painting session and more work on the piece. A few days later I came out again, and was able to also do color studies and take photos for reference and more work on what I had started. What a wonderful experience and pleasure to capture one of the most historic and beautiful places in the valley…

— Kay Northup

R Lazy S Ranch

Photo: Kim Fadiman

Photo: Kim Fadiman

This painting session is scheduled for September 4th, 2014. Sign up to receive email updates from us to the right so you get our blog posts right in your inbox!

View22: Field Study Works Now Available Online!

In 2017, we invited 21 local artists to create place-inspired art on 18 Jackson Hole Land Trust conservation properties in Teton, Fremont, and Sublette counties. The momentum for the project built over the summer as artists created their works and interacted with the community at artist demonstrations at the R Lazy S, and the Teton Food Tour.

View22: Field Study will culminate this Sunday, August 13th, 2017 with an exhibit and sale at the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s 37th Annual Picnic at the Hardeman North Meadow in Wilson.

The 80 finished works are now available for viewing and purchase through our downloadable e-catalog! The catalog will be updated periodically to reflect sales.

For inquiries regarding art sales please contact Roxanne Pierson at or 307-733-4707.