"In the Patch, This Monument Rocks!"

by Michael Boss
18" X 27"
Casein and Gouache on Rag Board

From the Collection of Larry Taylor,
Integrity Drilling Company LLC, Hill City, Kansas

After finishing the painting of the big rig west of Monument Rocks, I showed a friend, Larry Taylor, a small reproduction of the finished work.看 Larry was rather taken by the way看I handled the bluffs and prairie grass.看 Surprisingly, it wasn't long until a deal was struck看for the original.看看Larry asked if I would make a few changes. I看agreed to看paint the doghouse and crow's nest看in看Integrity Drilling Company green instead of my first看use of red.

After an afternoon's drive看to the rig, taking some detail images, the requested color shifts看were soon made.看 Two years in the making, I consider this one of my best and totally from the heart.看 I never met a chalk bluff I couldn't like!

The story of the painting before看the later changes.

Having worked for a time in the oil patch, I didn't think I would necessarily have a fond spot for painting that genre of art. Give or take forty years later, the Cosmos turned the sky around! By chance, in the summer of 2010, I met Larry Nicholson from eastern Kansas . Larry works all over the patch and had stopped in Hill City to fill up with gas. Never letting a stranger pass me by, we had a long session of visiting to say the least. And as we were wrapping up our talk in the wee hours, we discovered that we were Boss cousins from way down the road! Small, small world.

Larry made no bones I should travel out to the Smoky Hill River south of Oakley , Kansas , and catch the fury of drilling. Soon after, Larry emailed an image of a pumping unit a short distance west of the north buttes and arch of Monument Rocks.

On January 25th, 2011, my good friend Mike Balthazor, my new pup Buddy and I, camera in hand, trekked out to the Smoky. As luck would have it, there was a large rig about two to three miles west of Monument Rocks. Apparently getting ready to set surface pipe, the sand and concrete trucks were there and lined up. Back home, when I checked the images, they were a perfect match for the painting.

With a bit of license, I pulled the north bluffs and clouds behind the rig to play the dramatic aspects of raw nature against the trucks and the towering mechanical rig.


Mike and Buddy

Two best friends:
Mike Balthazor and Buddy
(Click To Enlarge)