In the almost-darkness just before sunrise, a retired cowboy emerges from his house and silently walks the short distance to a small, tidy log building with a sheltered porch. He takes a seat near the handmade door, easing his old bones onto a bench created from a split log. There, with Oregon’s high desert spread out before him and the sun coming up pink beyond the distant dark mountains, he makes his preparations for the day.
Once inside, he builds a fire in the little, round wood stove in the corner, warming his hands before the flames. In the thin light streaming through the skylight and the small window on the south wall, he looks around and sees all the things he’s collected during his many years of cowboying: the buffalo skulls from Wyoming, the Navajo blankets picked up somewhere on his travels, the row of guns shining against the log-and-chink wall, a bridle that belonged to a long-gone horse, and a rain slicker that probably predates his now-grown children.
It could be this century. It could be one of the last two centuries. The timelessness is by design; the setting is meant to be a place out of time. But it’s this century, and the old cowboy is oil painter Len Babb, and the building is his studio. The artist is beginning his day.
24″ by 36″
24″ by 36″