Winter Wheat on the Plateau

Winter Wheat on the Plateau. ©2010 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen Panel. 24" x 36". 
This is the land my great-grandparents settled almost 100 years ago. My grandparents farmed the land, my mother and her 4 siblings grew up there, my uncle Dale farmed the land for decades and today my cousin Dan and his wife live there and harvest the wheat. In 2005 WSU released a new strain of wheat named after my uncles: Bauermeister Hard Red Winter Wheat.

This is an arid land. It's not irrigated and farmers here rely on winter and spring rains for winter wheat to grow. This painting is at harvest when the wheat is absolutely ripe and golden yellow. In the distance you can see the canyons and coulees cutting through the land. If you look close you can see the neighbor's farmhouse. The farms here are very large and the homes have always seemed like islands in a sea of wheat.

This August we had a family reunion at the farm and on the way there my husband and I had a flat tire along Crab Creek road near Sentinel Gap. We arrived late, just in time for the photos. Because of our tire we ended up spending the night at the farm so I spent my time visiting with my cousins and having my cousin Jim and then my husband drive me around the roads so that I could see dusk fall on the wheat fields. It was beautiful.

These plateaus are high and you can see Rattlesnake Mountain and even Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier in the Cascade range. The contours of the fields highlighted by the setting sun were remarkable.


Dan McShane said…
Well named painting!
Sonya Johnson said…
I really like this painting, Lisa - love the colors you used for the wheat fields, and in contrast with the road. I'm a fan of roads anyway, so it has that appeal as well.

Looks like you're really on a roll in your studio :)!
Stone-Loke said…
You make me realize how much I love Eastern Washington.