A story about a kitten and a painter

There was an evening about a year ago when I walked out to my backyard and found Randall Stoltzfus investigating a strange sound emanating from the fence. The sound was coming from a recently birthed and abandoned kitten, maybe a week or so old. Taking its first meager steps, it had somehow managed to fall down a deep hole in the cement between my fence and the neighbor’s fence. As it was night, and dark, it was hard to see anything in the space between the two fences, certainly not a tiny kitten. But it was there, starved and soaked from last night’s rain, whimpering the distress signals of an animal that is dying. It seemed to me that there was little we could do. Even if we ripped apart the fence, there was no way we’d be able to reach all the way down a four-foot-deep hole that was barely wider than a fist. I pulled out my cellphone and called animal services, who chuckled at our situation before telling me to call back in the morning.

I related the call to Randy, but he didn’t seem to mind the brush off. He’d already devised a plan to save the kitten, a plan that required rope …

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Essay by Barbara Rose

Randall Stoltzfus is a young painter who has already accomplished a great deal by learning the lessons of the history of art and bringing them up to date in subtle and luminous paintings of visionary landscapes. He is not afraid of the hard work required to create his sophisticated, painstakingly detailed, labor-intensive paintings. His work recalls the romantic mood of the American masters William Inness and Albert Pinkham Ryder, an artist who also inspired Jackson Pollock’s early works…

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