May 7, 2015

4-H: Pigs, Goats and Steers!

Raising and showing livestock is a big part of 4-H programs in the Klamath Basin. Here are some paintings representing that.  These paintings will be at the Favell Museum show that opens May 29 and runs through July 31.

"Judging the Goats", 12x24, oil on panel by Vicki Shuck

"Jesse Shows His Hog", 11x14, oil on panel by Vicki Shuck

"Ashlyn and Olaf", 8.5x6.5, oil on panel by Vicki Shuck

"Logan and Smith", 8.5x6.5, oil on panel by Vicki Shuck

"Kate and Clyde", 8x10, oil on panel by Vicki Shuck

March 21, 2015

"Nellie's Pony Rides" by Vicki Shuck

12"x12", Oil on Panel
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Nellie takes her ponies to a number of fairs and events in Oregon and California each year. On this trip, she giving rides to excited little kids at The Pumpkin Patch near Terrebonne, OR.

March 18, 2015

"Culling Horseradish" by Vicki Shuck

12"x8", Oil on Panel
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At The Organic Horseradish Company in Tule Lake, CA, horseradish root is unloaded from a truck.  This worker is one of many sorting and trimming it on its way to eventually be processed into organic food products. Owned by Jacqui and David Krizo, this company farms land homesteaded by Jacqui's father who first grew horseradish there in 1952. See their website to buy their organic horseradish and horseradish mustard along with recipes to use it in.

August 8, 2012

"Learnin' the Ropes" by Vicki Shuck

12"x16", Oil on Panel
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Over in eastern Oregon, near Diamond, where a medium size ranch is in the thousands of acres, children of the ranchers were getting a chance to practice roping and branding the calves.  On farms and ranches, kids start early in taking part in the work needing to be done.  What an office!

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
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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.

February 28, 2012

"Before Plucking" by Vicki Shuck

Oil on Panel
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One of my nieces has generously agreed to be a subject of my paintings for this project.  She grew up on a farm and has loved animals and agriculture all her life. After graduating from college with a degree in Animal Science, she returned to the Klamath Basin and works at the OSU Agriculture Experiment Station.  

She and her husband decided to try raising organic, free-range chickens this past year. They set up a roomy pen on wheels in their pasture that they moved every day, providing their 20-odd chickens with fresh grasses to pick through and poop in, fertilizing it at the same time.  After 8 weeks, the chickens were ready to butcher.  This painting shows one step of that process:  after the chicken was dead, it was dunked in very hot water to make it easier to pluck.  It was a family affair--moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all got to get in on this helping to pluck, singe the pin-feathers, and get them ready for wrapping and freezing.

February 14, 2012

"Near Merrill, Long View" by Janice Druian

This painting by Janice is the setting where much of the horseradish is grown that was trimmed by the people in the previous post, below.  It is near Newell, CA, just over the Oregon border.  The big rock on the left is known to locals as "The Peninsula" as this ground used to be under water.  It was part of the land that was homesteaded after it was reclaimed and has been an incredibly rich place to farm.  FYI, the large rock on the right, along with the peninsula is the site of many ancient petroglyphs.  Another note about the place is that behind the peninsula, there was a Japanese Internment Camp during WWII.  My (Vicki's) dad tells stories of how he and his brother used to play with the children in the camp--he and his brother on one side of the fence, and the Japanese -American children on the other.

February 8, 2012

"Trimming Horseradish" by Vicki Shuck

24"x36", Oil on Canvas
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The first of the paintings I did for this project is of a group of people trimming horseradish root at a farmer's shed in Tule Lake, CA, which is about 6 miles south of the Oregon border.  Dave and Jacquie Krizo (on the far right in the painting) are the son and daughter of two families who homesteaded in the lower Klamath Basin after WWII.  They have spent their lifetimes working the same land, currently raising horseradish and organic grain.  Since the turn of this new century, the availability of water and who should get it has been a huge and divisive issue in the Klamath Basin.  Jacquie has been particularly active in presenting the side of the people who need it to irrigate crops.  She established a website where you can see "before and after" photos of the land and find out more about it: