Blitzen Girls' Camp
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Girls frolic in the meadow, race against the currents of the river, sit on logs around the campfire, tend their horses, and stroll beside the Pruitt's old tent, while the camp hands chop the firewood, shoe a horse, and prepare a feast for a dozen hungry girls. The scene is typical of a mid-day during the Pruitt’s girls’ camp in the Little Blitzen Gorge in the Steens Mountain of Southeastern Oregon. The detail of this painting is unusually crisp, down to the clothes hanging on the line, the saddles on the rail, and the tents along the river's edge. The discerning eye can find 13 tiny people, four horses and three tents under the magestic slopes of the Little Blitzen gorge. This work was painted on site in August 1963 on a vertical 24 x 32 canvas from under a make-shift studio which drew strength from several standing aspens, a few poles and several ropes. The completed work was signed in the lower right and dated "63." Ina left the mountain in late August to judge the Traditional Art Section at the Oregon State Fair in Salem. This painting first appeared at the Owl Pharmacy in Bend, Oregon beginning September 25th, 1963, and apparently never left, for it sold to the Pharmacist working there at the time, Bob Gabriel, the following September. Bob, who later served as curator of the High Desert Museum in Bend, gave the painting to his daughter Diane Wright upon his wife's death. Diane took the painting with her to Nebraska. The current owner purchased the painting from Ms. Wright in 1993.