Jane Stanfel Capturing Forever


Gallery
 
Watercolors

Miles City Area

Available
Price: US $750
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Buffalo Blind
Oil on Canvas 20" x 16"

Buffalo Camp
In the late 1870’s through the early 1880’s, from behind the man-made rock wall guarding a then wood covered cave, high on a hillside, sharpshooters used 45-120 Sharps rifles to decimate the buffalo population.  By 1883 the powerful beasts, once ranging over all that would become the United States were gone.  A good sharpshooter could kill about a hundred head a day and was paid 25 cents an ear.  The animals were skinned where they fell, and the hides left to dry on the banks of the Yellowstone, where steamboats gathered them in the spring.  With the slaughter of the buffalo the government felt the land was cleared for homesteaders’ cattle, and the Native Americans were driven to land allotted them.  Sadly, contrary to plan, Texans drove their cattle up here, over-grazed the native grasses, and high-tailed back home with the profits.

Available
Price: US $1000
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Their Dream House
Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Martin Ranch
Joel Charles Martin and Diana Marsh Martin, with their five children, left Milwaukee, Wisconsin by train to start a new life on their homestead forty miles northwest of Miles City. Joel had lost all the fingers on his left hand in a sawmill accident and felt farming was the way he could now support his family. They shipped everything they owned: a steam engine, machinery, lumber, household items, horses, and livestock. At first they survived in a tent, then a tar paper shack for the summer, until he built this magnificent two-story structure. Later came a two-story granary with a dance hall at the top. The barn was built on a hillside with the lower half dug into the bank. Martin intended to build a cheese factory and made the cement vats with gravel from the creek. He nearly had the building completed when a wind storm smashed it into a hayfield, and no one knows if it was ever rebuilt. They raised oats, wheat and alfalfa, and heated the home with coal dug from the beds to the west. Martin used the threshing machine in the painting for his grain and also his neighbors'. In the yard was a six-foot stack of buffalo skulls, which disappeared as visitors from the east arrived. The drought of the Great Depression ended the Martins' lives in that house, for all they could grow in those dry, horrible years was Russian Thistles. Everything was sold in a farm auction in April, 1939.

Available
Price: US $800
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Early Spa 
Oil on Canvas 20" x 16"

Hot Water Well
Here in 1956 Shell Oil drilled 8,230 feet before all Hell broke loose. Instead of oil they hit a vein of hot, high pressure water, the same for which Yellowstone is famous. From April to June they tried to plug it off, for they were certain oil was beneath it. On June 7th drilling began again only to blow at 8,256 ft. On the third attempt, July 4th, the geyser blew like a patriotic rocket at 8,840 ft, at which point they put valves on top the casing, so that John Roberts, the owner, and his neighbors to the south, the Lockie Brothers could use the water. The temperature of the water is between 170-190 degrees, and it flowed 2,142,000 gallons of sulfuric water each day. The State required them to slow the flow, for it believed it was the same vein as Thermopolis and Yellowstone Park. The Moore Brothers bought the ranch from Roberts in the late 50's, moved in an old building, poured a cement floor, installed some bath tubs, and opened a spa for their neighbors and friends. Late one evening, tanked up on adult beverages, some high school pranksters decided to try out the tubs. Unfortunately they did not know how to cool down the water, and their evening frolic ended in the ER of the local hospital with their rumps and other private parts scalded. Fearful of a court suit, even though the boys broke in, the owners removed the building and destroyed the tubs. Now there are only scattered, rusting, overturned tubs and this one, sitting majestically in boiling mud in the middle of the vast plains. The steam can be seen for miles around, but this great energy of the Earth is largely wasted.

Available
Price: US $900
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Still Standing Proud
Oil on Canvas 24" x 18"

Schlott Ranch
This ranch was homestead by Charles Schrader, and the Schlotts probably built the house which, despite the collapse of its two stories into one, still manages to stand.  It is presently owned by our guide’s uncle, and next to it the remains of the wind generator give a proof of the climate.

Available
Price: US $550
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The Sunday Car
Oil on Canvas 12" x 12"

Gresens Ranch
Thomas Grist homesteaded the ranch and built the log house still standing on the property.  It was then bought by Neal Gresen’s parents, and when Neal married Irene, they lived in the corn crib until his folks sold the property to them.  Here Marge Holmlund, our guide, played as a child, and the love of this property and her aunt was beautifully evident as we toured the ranch. The Gresens raised their four children in the tiny house they built in the twenties.  To accommodate four little bodies in one 6 x 6 bedroom they fashioned a pair of bunk beds.  In the dump on the little hill, a distance from the house, was their car, sporting a 1955 plate, though it was a 1948 or earlier vintage Ford.  The car, rusted nearly pink, looked imperial among decaying farm equipment and unknown junk.

Available
Price: US $500
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Now Only a Target
Oil on Canvas 9" x 12"

Burgel Ranch
Chris Burgel was a card player.  When his luck was good he had money for cows, but when he lost he had to settle for sheep.  No records were kept to show which animal was the more prevalent, but there are still a log house and a board building, both now lodges for mice and rats.  Inside remain many discarded, family treasures, poignantly rotting and rusting away.

Available
Price: US $600
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A Woman’s Life
Oil on Canvas 11" x 14" 

Burgel Ranch
Chris Burgel was a card player. When his luck was good he had money for cows, but when he lost he had to settle for sheep. No records were kept to show which animal was the more prevalent, but there are still a log house and a board building, both now lodges for mice and rats. Inside remain many discarded, family treasures, poignantly rotting and rusting away.

Available
Price: US $600
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Grandma's Favorite Chair
Oil on Canvas 11" x 14"

Burgel Ranch
Chris Burgel was a card player. When his luck was good he had money for cows, but when he lost he had to settle for sheep. No records were kept to show which animal was the more prevalent, but there are still a log house and a board building, both now lodges for mice and rats. Inside remain many discarded, family treasures, poignantly rotting and rusting away.

Available
Price: US $750
Contact to Purchase

Home Away from Home
Oil on Canvas 16" x 20 "

Leonard Homestead
One section, which equals 640 acres, of each township (36 sections) was dedicated by the state to education. Yet, it was impossible in bad weather to gather all the children together in one building and return them home each evening. Across the field from the school, the ranchers in this area outside Miles City built a dug-out house, and the children lived there in bad weather, generally all winter. One parent stayed with them and cared for all.

Available
Price: US $1300
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Randy and Popeye
2012 Oil on Old Barn Wood 15" x 16.5" unframed

Randy Carey, born in the early forties, was about ten when he taught both himself and his ever-faithful Shetland pony this trick.  Being the youngest of six children, he was a reasonably spoiled child, but then that sort of matched the temperament of his pony. Popeye was a gift from his parents, and he rode his pony everywhere on their ranch on Foster Creek in Custer County.  Randy taught him this trick which both horse and rider loved to perform.  After his father died in a horrible horse accident, his mother remarried a man from Seattle, and Randy moved with them there.  It is unknown if Popeye made the transition to city life or was left back on the ranch.

Available
Price: US $1300
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The Cowboy
2012 Oil on Old Barn Wood 24" x 15.5" unframed

The eldest of six children, Del Carey, at the tender age of nineteen or twenty, was thrust into heading the ranch and family when his father died in a tragic horse accident.  In a parade in Miles City, his horse reared up and threw him backwards.  Del’s father struck his head on the curb and died five or six days later.  When his mother remarried and moved to Seattle, Del stayed to run the family ranch on Foster Creek in Custer County and ultimately bought it outright.  He loved ranching and he preferred his horses over machinery.  Once someone became stuck in the creek near his house and asked Del to pull him out.  Mounting his trusty horse instead of his truck, Del quickly pulled out the pick-up.  He loved to rope and was an honored, invited helper at the local brandings, for he put the care of the calf above all else.  He was the children’s favorite, for he had one very tame horse which he let all the little ones ride.  Married with seven children, life was not always easy for him, but like a true cowboy, he just tried to enjoy what God had given him.  He played the banjo, fiddle and mandolin at local dances and loved reading about the lives of other cowboys.  About 45 years old in this painting, he is pulling a calf to the branding fire.

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Copyright 1998-2012
©Jane Stanfel