March 21, 2012

"Jesse, Horseradish Farm Foreman" by Vicki Shuck

10"x8", Oil on Panel
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One morning last May, the subject of this painting, Jesse, told me more about growing horseradish than I ever thought I'd know!  Talk about enthusiasm for his work and generosity in sharing it!  He has been working on these farms on the Oregon/California border for around 35 years.  He told me that when he was about 19, he realized that he'd never be able to make a good enough living to marry and raise a family, so he decided to leave Mexico.  When he reached Tule Lake, he said he realized it could be a "good place":  a small farming community where he felt he could learn to do whatever was needed.  He spent his first three years learning the language and customs and proceeded to build a good life here.  Showing up and working hard have been key to his success.  He's obviously quite proud of his three children:  one is a student at a state college and the other two are making plans for higher education, AND, he told me, they are paying for it themselves.

March 1, 2012

"Above It All" by Janice Druian

Oil on Panel
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In the previous post, Mt. Hood was mentioned as one of the views from orchards in the Hood River Valley.  Here it is!  Gorgeous from any angle. . .

"Picking Apples Today, Wells & Sons Farms" by Vicki Shuck

Oil on Panel
Contact Vicki Shuck for purchase information

I grew up in the high desert of Oregon, so agriculture in a place like the Hood River Valley has been totally new for me.  Instead of wheat, potatoes and hay, there's apples and pears and cherries.  Instead of flat fields that stretch into the distance, there are rows and rows of fruit trees and vines on rolling hills.  Absolutely beautiful--and that's not even mentioning having Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams to look at when you raise your eyes.  One of the businesses we visited is Wells and Sons Farms.  As the name says, they are family-run and multi-generational.  This painting is in one of their orchards on a day last September when gala apples were being picked.