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“Hay Day” Steamboat Springs Colorado Art

I set up to paint this woman haying a field in Steamboat Springs, CO while we were in the midst of packing up to leave. Our home had just sold. It was a golden day at the end of summer 2020. I remember watching her make her turns and trying to paint how solitary and contented she looked. Her long brown pony-tail and her calm assurance as she guided the tractor around in consecutive circle. On one of those turns she saw me painting and gave me a thumb’s up. I couldn’t have been happier.

This piece was painted from that plein air study of a her hay day. I started setting up at 3 pm and by the time I was done at 5 all hay, tractor and bales were gone. Whew! Good thing watercolor is fast. Battled some bad wind and stood in three foot grass to get this one. So tired but happy when I was finished. Only time I’ve ever seen a woman riding a tractor. I love painting women working with their men.

I liked the scene for many reasons. It’s a perfect illustration of the concept of walking to your own drummer, finding your own pacing. Haying is still dominated by men who do the job well and thoroughly. But it takes a woman quite confident in her own ideas of what makes for a good day to do her own haying. I admired her solitary purpose and strength. The ranching community is fast losing its footing in Colorado. These scenes will not be part of the daily moments of the future, so I’m glad I captured it when I could.



Original, 11″ x 15”, watercolor on 140 lb 100% cotton Saunders’ St. Cuthbert’s Mill paper. Unframed.

I’d be happy to send you a high resolution picture of this piece. Then you can really zoom into the details! Just send me a note here.


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