PAINTINGS

MOSQUITOES ON THE TRAIL

24 x 18 inches. September 2021 SOLD

After a period of relentless pressure from Contemporary Western Artists Coalition president Wyatt Olsen, Haseltine reluctantly joined the CWAC in 2012 and was selected to participate in the cherished Northwest Passage Redefined group project that positions Coalition members every 20 miles across the Corps of Discovery’s expedition trail, each creating original art inspired by their location and a variety of historical perspectives. 

 

The public is encouraged to visit the artists and view their progress during the event, with some making it a yearly tradition to travel across the entire route and visit every single artist’s station. 

 

Unaccustomed to plein air painting, Haseltine went to great lengths to replicate key aspects of his Livingston home studio in the Three Forks Travelodge room where he had been put up, but struggled to redirect traffic to the motel, because all the available CWAC literature explicitly stated he would be working along the Jefferson River near the I-90 bridge. The Coalition was tolerant of Haseltine’s desire to work indoors, but became apprehensive when his slow progress was revealed. 

 

The average painter completes six to eight paintings in the annual ten-day Northwest Passage Redefined project, but by the end of the first week, Haseltine was still prepping his first canvas. With two days to spare, Haseltine was

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pulled off of the project and replaced by the Frozen Water Coven, the Missoula based interpretive dance troupe that staged a riveting performance chronicling 12-year-old Sacagawea’s kidnapping by the Hidatsa people. 

 

Haseltine was reportedly relieved when he was taken off the project, but remained invested in his piece and spent the next nine years completing it. 

 

It is presented here for the first time.

NOT AGAIN!

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36 x 24 inches. July 2021 SOLD

In this Rocky Mountain fantasia of primary colors, fans of fashion will undoubtedly notice that the disadvantaged beaver trapper is adorned with a jacket made from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s controversially discontinued Cobalt Black, Mud Red and Calvary Yellow blanket pattern, which was designed by Homer Van den Berg. Before his incarceration, Van den Berg was employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and gained attention for his blanket designs when he reduced the number of stripes from four to three and adopted a significantly more sophisticated color palette than those previously woven or dyed. These were marketed to aesthetically conscious and discerning beaver trappers and were quite handsome in comparison to the more common four-striped blanket jackets with garish colors.

 

Van den Berg referred to his understated blanket jackets as Joseph’s Coats, and had wild theories regarding the evolution of color through the ages. Specifically, he believed that many hues in the contemporary world were reflections of astrological events that had not yet happened during the earlier books in the Old Testament, and that all of creation initially bloomed only in primary colors. Van den Berg’s designs were a tribute to the children of Abraham and the Five Books of Moses, and he cherished the opportunity to explain how Joseph’s famous coat of many colors likely was much more subdued than one would imagine. Perhaps the jealousy felt by Joseph’s brothers was incited by a subtle shift in the color spectrum, a red cuff that took on a rust-salmon hue, or a blue lapel that suddenly appeared turquoise, all because a star had exploded and died centuries and centuries before.

It’s a bizarre footnote to Van den Berg’s otherwise gruesome legacy.

The pie eating contest

20 x 24 inches. August 2021

While difficult to fathom today - with most Americans understanding currants and gooseberries to be intermediary hosts of white pine blister rust - before the 1911 federal ban on Ribes, there was substantial misinformation regarding the cause of the fungus that ravaged the nation’s high-elevation lumber supply. 

 

Gooseberries were correctly identified as hosts of the dreaded white pine blister rust from the start, but a lack of understanding the difference between the genus Ribes (gooseberries & currants) and the genus Rubus (blackberries, raspberries, etc.) resulted in an unnecessary attempt by those with lumber interests and investments to eradicate any fruit referred to as a “berry” across North America.

 

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Excessive forced berry harvests in the early 20th century flung timber regions into a decadent “pie frenzy” as gluttonous berry pie consumption was viewed as a patriotic means of combating white pine blister rust, thus cementing the pie-eating contest as a traditional Independence Day activity. 

 

A favorite pie amongst the woodsmen was a blackberry, blueberry and raspberry pie with lemon juice and anise extract served room temperature of course, since hot pie is not an acceptable culinary practice as cooling a freshly baked pie to room/campsite temperature is an essential part of the process, allowing the filling to congeal properly. Reheating a finished pie is an appalling procedure, entirely undermining the pie craft unless one is simply reheating apple pie to melt a slice of cheddar cheese on top.

 

After a group of lumberjacks murdered a family of five for growing dewberries on their farm in 1909, President Taft’s administration distributed pamphlets outlining key genus, subgenus and species of the kingdom Plantae in the United States and properly attributed white pine blister rust solely to the genus Ribes. Gone were the days of forced Rubus harvests, and to this day, many “household berries” are staples of American culinary values.

tanager time!

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16 x 12 inches. September 2021 SOLD

These terrific corn-bodied, tomato-topped winged knaves of the West have delighted birders for centuries, but remained primarily unnoticed by early Caucasian colonizers in the territories due to the settlers’ high incidence of color blindness. The Western tanager is generally understood to be slightly larger than a typical sparrow, but here they are depicted as immense, with the mother seemingly reaching human proportions. In reality, many of the said color-blind homesteaders mistook the zany songbirds for sparrows.

last place pig

LOG FLOAT!

16 x 20 inches. August 2021 SOLD

No small amount of speculation from South Central Montana historians has been ignited by this piece. True, the church rendered atop the hill does indeed resemble the Melville Lutheran Church, but eagle-eyed viewers generally point out that the exterior trim around the door and windows matches the roof (a feature not found on the existing Sweet Grass County church where the trim around the door and windows matches the siding). The trim coloring is a green-turquoise-aqua combination seen in many of Haseltine’s paintings, and generally believed to be a tribute to the seafoam-green coloring found on many Fender guitars, leading some to believe the structure in question is intended to be the Melville Lutheran Church with some simple artistic license taken; and others to believe that the church actually references the infamous prefabricated churches sold by the Elmer Enloe Company in the early 20th century. 

 

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The Elmer Enloe Company claimed to be the “Christian man’s Sears & Roebuck,” and successfully distributed supplies ranging from ceremonial paraphernalia, most editions of the Bible (save for the King James version), and the aforementioned prefabricated churches across the developing West until Enloe’s death in 1932. Incidentally, many of the products sold by the Elmer Enloe Company were painted a green that would not be unfamiliar or unpleasant to fans of instrumental surf rock. 

 

In his later years, Enloe worked tirelessly to create a Christian-approved organization to rival the newly formed Future Farmers of America, which he irrationally believed to be a pagan cult after an unpleasant altercation with FFA co-founder Henry Groseclose at a dinner in Blacksburg, Virginia. His attempts were futile as he was unable to provide any evidence against the FFA. Enloe was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1929, and on his deathbed is reported to have said that each breath felt like swallowing broken glass and molasses. 

 

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24 x 48 inches. January 2021 SOLD

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Here’s the collab I did with BB Gwynn, Isaiah Deadhorse and the Death Song Restaurant Group that was supposed to be a foldout insert in the menus for their new Livingston restaurant “The Woodsman’s Bistro.” They were developing an aesthetic for the place that was a cross between a traditional lumber-jack theme and a more contemporary lumber-sexual theme, but wanted the wildlife in the piece to reflect their menu, so apart from the humans, ALL the wildlife depicted (animals, fish, birds etc.) were things that could actually be found on the menu either as an entree or an appetizer. Towards the end of the project however, I couldn’t get in touch with BB, Isaiah or anyone from Death Song, even Savanna who was this amazing executive assistant to both BB and Isaiah and she had been SUPER helpful when we were getting started. I can accept BB and Isaiah cutting me off, but I was surprised that I couldn’t even reach Savanna, cause her job basically is to deflect me from getting ahold of BB or Isaiah, which would mean I could at least get her on the phone, but these people pretty much disappeared! I even went back to the place they had started renovations for the restaurant, but when I showed up it was a fully operational Maverick Real Estate Partners office and I was like, “what the heck? The last time I was here they were putting in a grease pit!” I totally get the restaurant industry is messed up, and I don’t want to sound naive, but still, I was not prepared to get cut off from Savanna, because I felt like we had gotten very close almost immediately, like when I first met her I was waiting for BB and Isaiah to finish a conference call so we could start a creative meeting and Savanna was playing Mazzy Star on her laptop and I told her once I saw a stripper dance to Fade Into You and it was so beautiful I gave her $300 in ones right there on the stage and Savanna thought that was awesome and told me strippers were the best and when she was in college she was into burlesque and then once we sat next to each other while Death Song did this fancy tasting party and Savanna wanted to go out for a smoke, but it was -35 degrees and I let her sit in my truck while she smoked so she wouldn’t freeze, but I told her it was a BIG deal cause I didn’t ever let people smoke in my vehicle since I’ve been an ex-smoker for 15 years and virtually all the men in my family have died from smoking related disease and she was like, “oh thanks, I feel really bad now!” And I was like, “no, it’s cool, I just want you to know this is a special occasion.” 

The BURIAL

16 x 20 inches. February 2021 SOLD

A recent study in the Friends of Sidney Edgerton Anthropological Society Newsletter found that from 1864 - 1889 83% of all caucasian graves in Montana were dug by women (more specifically widows of the deceased). The high number of widows surviving in the territory after 1864 comes as no surprise, with Montana being renown for ushering irresponsible adventurers full of beans and lacking foresight into the region as early as 1804.  

 

Women’s grave digging skills at the time were so admired that digging graves became an official competition at Independence Day Ranch Rodeos throughout the state. Naturally, this was the closing event, as the field would be littered with open graves by the end, and no other activities or competitions could safely take place. Controversy began in Big Horn County in 1883 when it was

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discovered that the sponsors of that year’s Ranch Rodeo, the Devine Prairie Methodist Episcopal Church had purchased the plot of the festivities with the intent to turn it into a graveyard and circumvent burial labor by using the 63 graves dug by local widows during the event. For perspective, the winner of the competition, Willa Linstrum (digging a 3x8x6’ grave in a record breaking 2 hours 53 minutes) was presented with a tin thimble for her efforts.

 

Linstrum did not mind. “I’ve dug lots of graves for real. Truthfully, digging a grave for the sake of it was a pleasure. I didn’t have a build a coffin or anything. Just mindless busywork, a perfect way to spend Independence Day,” she said. “I’d be happy to do it even without the thimble.”

 

Objections came from recent Big Horn County residents Sherman Porter and Howard Merrett, who had made significant investments in developing the west’s first Undertakers Labor Alliance. Both men were notably connected and it wasn’t long after July 4 1883 that women were outlawed from digging graves for burials or recreation. 

 

Although seldom enforced, the law exists to this day.

The Spanking (Consensual)

40 x 30 inches. March 2021 SOLD

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Having left the Yukon in 1892, failed prospector Almanzo Zimmermann was taken ill in the Utah Territory on his way back home to Chicago. While convalescing in Nephi, Zimmermann witnessed the needs of the settlers in the region as they transitioned from nomadic pioneers to residents. Many families in log cabin homes with open floor plans wished to break up the interiors into separate rooms. The practice was a common one, but Zimmerman noticed severe creative disputes within the individual households, especially amongst the unprecedented number of woman in each home with very specific aesthetic desires and seemingly unlimited authority over the matter with no discernible hierarchy of said authority. Zimmerman remained in Nephi as Utah reached statehood and gained considerable success as an entrepreneurial  manufacturing & design consultant. Structurally, breaking up the existing cabins from the territory was a simple, but Zimmerman made himself essential to the region by developing customizable finishings for each new cabin section. Members of the family could then choose from a variety of molding, trim, wainscoting and wallpaper options and every wall could be individually designed to meet a specific person’s desires. It was common for certain areas of the cabin to be decorated entirely differently from others based on the whims of the section’s primarily inhabitant. Although the couple depicted in Haseltine’s painting are likely from the mid 20th century, viewers can see an example of

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Zimmerman’s design work on the wall butted against the original cabin siding - here it’s cherry wainscoting and sego lily wallpaper. The rest of the walls in the cabin not seen in the painting could be decorated with up to 12 different design combinations. In 1898, Zimmerman met with the Sears & Roebuck Company to discuss a possible collaboration or merger, but Zimmerman was murdered while exploring the nearby Salt Creek Falls before he was able to give the offer any consideration.

Theoretical dawn

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30 x 48 inches. June 2021 COMMISSIONED PIECE

After the 3rd Schoolmarm was murdered by a lovesick adolescent in the span of 4 years, the citizens of Thistle Root decided employing female teachers was too great a liability and ultimately a distraction to the young men in the community. In the winter of 1885, Professor Lars Shipstead was hired as Thistle Root’s School Master. Shipstead’s curriculum was rigorous - by their 3rd year, pupils were expected to have Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics memorized and much of any given school day was spent having students painstakingly recite sections of the text verbatim. Once a child had mastered the renowned ethical treatise, the process would be repeated, but in Greek, culminating in a written exam where the pupils were required to transcribe the entire piece from memory using the Greek alphabet. Shipstead believed the text was the only worthwhile writing in mankind’s history and surmised that the admittedly challenging tasks of  memorization and transcription coupled with the close readings of Nicomachean Ethics was the most thorough means to turn children into morally responsible virtuous men and women. “It’s my hope,” he said, “that any public gathering in Thistle Root should feel as substantial as the lectures at the Lyceum must have felt.” While Thistle Root’s younger generation certainly became stewards of practical philosophy, many adults in the region noticed a drastic decline in the fundamental day to day skillsets of Shipstead’s students. One woman reported her 14 year old daughter was unable to finish sweeping the floor of their cabin without taking a 20 minute nap halfway through and her 9 year old son would turn white as a sheet at the sight of the family rifle and weep at the dinner table more often than not. Although it’s difficult to directly link the circumstances, none of Shipstead’s pupils married after 1891 and Thistle Root’s population dwindled until the town dissolved, becoming one more failed attempt at western settlement.

33rd day of spring, 1893

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30 x 48 inches. June 2021 COMMISSIONED PIECE

While this piece seemingly supports the widely inaccurate historical account of the Great Rhubarb Flood of 1893 that erroneously attempts to explain the spread of rhubarb throughout much of South Central Montana, Haseltine’s composition includes many references to the more accepted notion that rhubarb’s journey into the Americas dates back to the Last Glacial Maximum and was eventually transported across the Bering Strait about 16,500 years ago. As most can attest, this more probable history has been unanimously taught even in the most conservative school districts since 1924. This painting references a lesser known chapter in Mary Catherine Morse’s (the woman who deceived the west into believing she spread rhubarb across Montana) history. Despite her pathological habit of self mythologizing, Morse’s support of cultural enrichment in the state beyond the standard use of Aristotle can not be overstated. Morse would generously host traveling artists and performers, and by all accounts her hospitality was exceptional and her rhubarb pie was more legendary than she could hope to be herself. However, one ill-fated evening at the Morse household, Mary Catherine accidentally incapacitated the cast of a traveling production of Timon of Athens because she served lamb shank on a bed of rhubarb leaves, unaware of their toxicity. The lamb and subsequent non toxic rhubarb pie was reportedly delicious, but the cast was far too ill to leave her home and Morse (following her physician’s recommendation to not eat any lamb for unknown reasons) traveled herself to White Sulphur Springs herself to recite her favorite poem, Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece to a disappointed audience that was greatly looking forward to Timon of Athens. Close viewers of the painting may notice the basket of rhubarb in the river has been rendered without the toxic leaves as a subtle jab at Morse’s foolish mistake. 

An Adequate Sunset

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30 x 48 inches. June 2021 COMMISSIONED PIECE

Invigorated by tales of settlers pursuing their own diligent practices of Christianity across the Western Territory, Jabez Corey, Professor of Divinity at New England’s prestigious Van Buren College, hypothesized publishing a collection of serialized essays about Abraham’s Frontier Children and their dedication to Christ could lessen the vicious divide amongst the myriad of churches popping up in the United States. Although some religious communities impressed Corey, his travels primarily left him saddened by the absence of fervor, even in many of the most evangelical subjects. Many settlers unsure how to proceed with their service to God on the frontier cited the lack physical places to worship as a primary obstacle, and the substantial amount of work that was required of them to survive forced them to reprioritize church and chapel construction for the worse. Corey was outraged, as his own system of beliefs put little emphasis on “God’s House” (he’d vocally opposed cosmetic improvements to churches throughout New England), and devised a plan to inspire pioneers to worship regularly regardless of what structures could be found in their region. Corey organized community members himself and would assist them in constructing rural chapels, but after the inaugural service, he would secretly burn the building down and explain to the congregation how they could still express their devotion to Jesus without a designated structure. In each settlement Corey came upon, his skills in designing and constructing chapels improved, his emotional investment in the buildings increased and each act of arson became more difficult for him to justify. Eventually he settled in California, building renown churches up and down the entire coast, most of which still stand today.

a fine night for the woodsmen

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30 x 48 inches. SOLD

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A loving and tender ode to the nuclear family of yesteryear and the early Caucasian settlers of Livingston’s Paradise Valley, this is Haseltine’s most meticulously researched painting to date. Viewers may be surprised to learn that male children (such as the one depicted here clutching the ax), without the influence of television, social media, high sugar diets, processed foods and hands-off discipline, were usually able to develop full beards by the age of eight. The milky smooth chin that adorns the faces of today’s youth is the price we in the 21st century pay for our systemic institutionalized state of arrested development and socially constructed perennial adolescence.

 

Haseltine employs some creative license in the depiction of the baby however, as that robust of a beard on an infant would be absurd in real life.

 

While the constellations and most of the flora and fauna here are absolutely accurate, arborists are quick to point out the peculiar tree in the center of the painting. Due to the impending demise of said tree at the reluctant hands of the little boy, Haseltine chose to paint a fictitious tree so as not to upset his more liberal leaning fans.

Lewis & clark and the quest for the northwest passage

Lewis & Clark and the Quest for the Northwest Passage John Henry Haseltine

48 x 60 inches. SOLD

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As was typical of the time, much was documented about the caucasian members of the expedition. Virtually no information on the intrepid female Native American child who served as their guide, or the African American man who frequently accompanied William Clark on his missions exists.

 

Historians have carefully combed through the accounting and pay ledgers for the Corps of Discovery, but found no clues to help identify the persons in question. This was especially perplexing to Nathan Shoemaker, the key forensic accountant for the Legacy and Preservation division of the United States Revenue Stewardship. “I can’t tell you how many times peeking at old pay ledgers gives us all the insight we need to fill in the gaps in any given situation under investigation,” Shoemaker said, but here he was proven wrong.

 

“I was convinced we’d gather some information about these two individuals, but there’s no financial record of them whatsoever, which is plain weird. We can romanticize the discovery of the Northwest Passage now, but back then it was hard work! I can’t imagine anyone doing it for free, I mean, why would you? It’s possible they were paid under the table, but that’s VERY contradictory to what we know about both Lewis and Clark. Nothing suggests they would have made an arrangement like that, it just isn’t them.” It’s a mystery that’s been on Shoemaker’s mind for over 25 years. “The girl was supposed to have been fairly young,” he noted, “maybe it was an internship type of situation or something. Basic labor in exchange for work experience or bird watching opportunities… I just don’t know.”

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60 x 48 inches. SOLD

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In recent years, the legacy surrounding the myriad of colorful characters comprising the history of the West has rightly come under no small amount of moral scrutiny. Those who once inhabited our collective imagination as folk heroes, are now seen as devastating symbols of colonization and prominent examples of western civilization’s destructive and savage nature. Amongst many contenders, there is perhaps no 19th century figure more prone to contemporary controversy than John “Liver-Eating” Johnson, the famed mountain man who had a life long blood feud with the Crow Indians, earning his handle by literally eating the livers of slain members of the tribe.

 

Johnson gained much more notoriety for his unsettling history than his other exploits, which were practically erased from the public’s memory. Today, many people learn of fellow mountain man John Colter’s naked escape from the Blackfeet Tribe, but Liver-Eating Johnson found himself in an identical situation, except, as he would recount over and over again, “I had to do in the winter!” Later in life, Johnson became obsessed with discrediting Colter’s escape and drawing more attention to his own much frostier adventure. “Isn’t it convenient nobody ever mentions what season it was when that happened to Colter?” he was known to lament.

Liver-eating Johnson escapes!

To most mountain men, whose lives were a collection of hair-raising adventures and near death experiences, the advent of cinema had little to offer as far as entertainment was concerned.  Johnson, on the other hand, was particularly influenced by Wyatt Earp’s ability to collaborate with Hollywood and retell his story the way he thought it ought to be told. While Tinseltown had to wait long after the death of figures like Hugh Glass to tell their story, Johnson eagerly answered the call from the “far west.” Johnson was adamant that his naked snowy escape be captured on celluloid and championed hard for Robert Redford to portray him in the film. Spokespeople from the Crow, Blackfoot and Flathead tribes, in addition to other surviving mountain men at the time, unanimously lamented the decision to have “pretty boy” Bob Redford play such a robust and contentious figure from their past, but old Liver-Eating Johnson remained convinced. “I know a lot of those fellows would rather someone like James Garner, or George Kennedy play me, and I respect that, but Bob Redford has the best body out of all the men in Hollywood at this time.” Johnson was so invested in the naked escape scene that finding the best actor for that specific chapter of history was his only priority. He was quick to reject performers like Tab Hunter and Rock Hudson, even though he “knew they [had] great bodies, but they’re not natural. Bob looks just as good as Rock or Tab without his shirt, but it doesn’t look like he spends all day in the gym!” Johnson’s relationship with Hollywood was eventually severed when, despite landing Redford for the lead, the naked winter escape was unceremoniously cut from the film due to the nation’s unwillingness to see a picture with full frontal male nudity. “It’s the worst thing to ever happen to anyone in America,” the Crow Killer said. He withdrew his support from the project, and for legal reasons, the producers were forced to retitle the film “Jeremiah Johnson.”

Look at all those rocket ships!

40 x 30 inches. SOLD

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While on the surface, this may appear to be a simple painting chronicling the declining cultural interests in all things Western as the Space Race captured the hearts of the world, closer examination reveals more subtle intricacies embroidered within the depiction of this cosmic terrestrial artifact.

 

Years before the official start to the Space Race, renowned western fashion designer Clyde Walker noticed his classic western-shirts’ sales declining in patterns that ran proportionate to advancements in the aerospace industry as well as the increasing production and popularity of science fiction films and television shows. Walker knew the west, long since discovered, long since conquered and modernized could never compete with the allure of Outer Space. A keen observer, Walker noticed several key similarities between traditional cowboys and modern astronauts. They shared a fearless obsession with uncharted, uninhabitable territory and loved snap-buttons on their clothing. In a morally dubious, but ultimately insufficient bout of capitalistic strategy, Walker lobbied hard and ultimately unionized western-wear manufacturers as well as snap button press operators from Texas to Southern California giving Western Wear designers across the world exclusive rights to the use of the suddenly patented snap-button. This was a devastating blow to the scientists and technicians attempting to send Americans into space, because the snap-button proved to be instrumental to both the developing space suits and space craft.

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Some reports reference a secret phone call to Walker from President John F. Kennedy urging him to sever the exclusive relationship he had formulated from his unionizations. Others close to Walker insist Walker had a change of heart independent of any rumored political outreach. Those sources say Walker changed his tune after learning about the worldwide popularity and admiration of Laika, the Russian dog sent into space. “It should have been an American dog” Walker allegedly said. He was a ruthless business man and talented designer, but he was also an American. He disbanded his unions and allowed NASA free access to the snap-button technology. 

 

Walker lost a fortune, but the United States’ legacy in the history of space exploration was cemented. He vanished from the public eye in 1971, and his body was found in a trailer outside of Fort Meyers, Florida in 1987. His death was apparently caused by complications from his lifelong battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This painting represents the sacrifice Walker ultimately made: a cowboy, outfitted with a snap-button western shirt gleefully announces the arrival of the rocket ship.

Bigfoot steals teddy Roosevelt's favorite sucking pig

Bigfoot Steals Teddy Roosevelt's Favorit

10 x 20 inches. SOLD

Because Roosevelt’s interest in colonization has of late overshadowed his previous reputation as a hearty conservationist who shouldered a significant amount of the momentum in cementing the prominence and protection of the United States’ sacred National Parks, many viewers undoubtedly conclude that Bigfoot is depicted here rescuing the sucking pig from the hands of a red faced imperialistic faux-socialist, but make no mistake, this mythic North American ape will devour the swine, ingesting every ounce of flesh off it’s bones.

Politics aside, this piece was reportedly inspired by Haseltine’s frustration with the glaring inaccuracies found in the film “Harry and the Hendersons,” which depicted a vegan Bigfoot. While the film contains one of John Lithgow’s finest performances, Haseltine was unable to forgive the misinformation and fictions that were so integral to the film’s plot.

John Colter: The first white man in Yellowstone

John Colter the First White Man in Yello

24 x 12 inches. SOLD

Based on the varied and often contradictory accounts of John Colter’s first pass through Yellowstone, this painting adheres to the legend that Colter believed he discovered the gates of Hell when he first spotted the erupting geysers and bubbling hot springs in the area.

In all likelihood, the horse in the painting would be notably spooked by such a geyser, but Haseltine has rendered it calm, indicating that the horse does not share the same Judeo-Christian inspired comprehension  of Hell as Colter.

Rodeo Clown with Compound Fracture

20 x 16 inches. SOLD

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Commissioned by the Rocky Mountain Rodeo Arts Heritage Collective, Rodeo Clown with Compound Fracture was originally intended to serve as the cover art for the collective’s annual Tribute to the Rodeo Clown edition of the popular Rodeo Boys magazine. The Rodeo Boys’ editing staff was appalled by Haseltine’s final product and demanded the Rocky Mountain Rodeo Arts Heritage Collective commission a more acceptable, less offensive piece from an entirely different artist. After finding a more suitable replacement, the Collective was then able to sell Rodeo Clown with Compound Fracture to the infamous philanthropist and western art collector Edna “Breezy” Gwynn. Gwynn thought it would be an ideal addition to the downstairs guest-room bathroom at her home in Sweet Grass County, but had to put the piece in storage in the old barn as the room was being occupied by her step daughter Samantha Foote following a recent divorce at the time the painting was purchased. Foote felt the painting would counteract the self healing she had set out to do.

 

Rodeo Clown with Compound Fracture was almost lost when a severe wildfire spread through Gwynn’s property. Fortunately Herb Petter, Gwynn’s longtime caretaker was able to rescue the painting merely moments before the old barn was incinerated. It was an act of bravery

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Petter shrugged off. “I really liked that painting” he told the Sweet Grass County Chronicle. “I know a lot of folks didn’t like it, but I did, and when I saw the fire shooting over to the barn I knew what I had to do.” Petter later admitted he should have set out the livestock before retrieving the painting.

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LUNCHtime!

16 x 20 inches. SOLD

This painting is a prime example of Haseltine’s tendency to blend reality with fantasy through his use of artistic license. Everyone knows lumberjacks are real, their prime directive being to cut down trees, but here they are depicted as almost carbon copies of each other save for the alternating color of their shirts, lunchboxes, and suspenders. While certain members of any given lumberjack group could conceivably look similar, it’s unlikely that they all would have looked identical and illogical to assume they would have the exact same lunches as one another. The general style of their clothing suggests these lumberjacks are from the mid 20th century and live in their own homes in a nearby town as opposed to camping out for months at a time in the wild. The presumed access they all independently would have had to food and clothing suggests why their similarities are so far-fetched.

Nobody told us it was going to be so hard!

48 x 30 inches. AVAILABLE

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I've been a bad boy!

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24 x 18 inches. SOLD

Pond in winter near Montana ranch

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Just as they felt they must return, a man stepped into the clearing.

10 x 20 inches. February 2021 SOLD

10 x 8 inches. November 2020 SOLD

This was my piece for the Illuminated ABCs group show at the Green Door Gallery in November 2020.

In 1866, weary from four years of battle in the war between the states and one year commanding the 2nd Cavalry Division in the occupation of Texas, Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer penned a children’s book in an attempt to transition into civilian life. His manuscript, tentatively titled “Uncle George’s Mountain Tales” was a collection of stories depicting various western children who were visited and eventually saved by a benevolent red-headed fur trapper known as Uncle George. Not only was it rejected by every publishing house above the Mason Dixon line, it was deemed so ludicrous that satirical and ironic readings from the manuscript became a staple of literary Christmas parties for years to come. Haunted by this ridicule, Custer destroyed every copy of his writings he could find, accepted his appointment as Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th Cavalry and abandoned any inclinations towards narrative fiction. To this day, only one story from the infamous collection remains, but even that has been impossible for me to find. From what research I’ve been able to conduct, the opening sentence was, “Just as they felt they must return, a man stepped into the clearing.” This show struck me as the perfect opportunity to imagine what an Historiated Initial at the start of this mysterious story could be as I’ve long been fascinated by what our region would look like had “Uncle George’s Mountain Tales” been worthy of publication.

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