Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Cowboy and the Bird...
Dad was a wonderful artist. His love of wildlife and the old west was evident in his artwork. His artwork said so much about his thoughts on life. One picture was of a mountain man holding on to what was the first barbed wire fence he encountered. He had a very sad look in his eye like he knew that the world was changing. Another, and my personal favorite, was an old cowboy sitting at a table teaching himself to read which dad titled "The First Grade Reader".
Not only did dad love the west and wildlife, he loved using people he knew as the models for his pictures. Every face he drew in his work was the face of one of his Game Warden friends. He didn't ask them to "model", he just used the features of the men he worked with every day. His work was such a reflection of himself. Always a tough old cowboy doing something that showed the softer side of a hard life.
His medium was pen and ink. I remember him spending hours and hours on pictures. Using a large, lighted magnifying glass on a stand as he toiled strategically placing tiny dots from an old ink well and pen. Thousands and thousands of tiny dots. He was blind in one eye from an accident with an air mattress, thus the magnifying glass.
For many years, dad would draw something, then tear it up and throw it away. I have a few of those that were fetched out of the trash. Until finally, we all told him how wonderful his work was and that we thought he could sell it.
When he died, his work all sold out. One of his prints was used to raise money for the reward fund for the capture of Claude Dallas. Some we had set aside were used as donations to charities for fundraisers.
It's time, now, after his death 28 years ago, to bring back everyone's favorite of all of his work. We had 100 printed and will sell some, give some to the grandkids, and again, as dad would have wanted, donate some to charities to help them raise money.
We're selling the prints for $75. If you're interested in one, let me know.