Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beverly Caputo, Painter, #WesternArtWednesday


Today I get to introduce a talented painter, Beverly Caputo!




Me And My Quarter Horse   
                                                                          
                                                                         
Life story:
I have been working as a professional artist for over twenty five years. I feel very blessed to have been able to make a career with my art. This artistic journey is truly an evolving process I have found. I am self taught. Born with the artistic talent and just always knew I would spend my life being an artist. The first half of my artistic career was spent working with commercial clients and a move in 2002 brought a shift to working more in a fine art capacity with my business. What I found after over twenty years of working in the commercial field of art was that I really wasn't enjoying the work. So, I did a bold thing. I packed up my horse and belongings and moved to Nevada where I currently reside.

Pacific Coast  Cutting Horse Association Commission

Day job:
I continue to work full time as an artist specializing in murals, commissioned portraits and paintings, as well as creating works that I sell as original paintings and prints.

Jobe's Peak Mountain, Canvas Painting, Private Commission

How I was introduced to art:
I was born with the artistic talent and was drawing and painting at an early age. My subject matter of choice at that time in particular was of course horses.

Private Portrait commission


What got me started as an artist:
I always knew I would pursue a career in art and did so by the age of eighteen when I was hired as a production artist with an advertising agency in Florida. I worked in that industry for ten years before moving to Los Angeles where I worked in the entertainment industry as an illustrator creating conceptual and storyboard art. A move to Nevada in 2002 brought a transition from commercial work to more fine art by specializing in murals, portraits, and canvas commissions for businesses and private clients.


 Minden Creamery, NV, Circa 1800s, Canvas Painting


Gardnerville Hotel, NV, Circa 1800s, Canvas Painting

What type of subject matter:
When doing private commissions it is always the client's choice of subject matter, but, my favorite general subject matter is western themed animals and landscapes.  In fall of 2014 I started the "Cowgirls & Cows Collection". I have always been a horse owner and animal lover and started doing these fun colorful western themed paintings featuring cowgirls and their trusted equines as well as other farm/ranch themed paintings. These paintings are somewhat of a style departure from my realistic portrait commissions and mural work. These are a combination of western meets fantasy and have a lot bold color and fun themes. The paintings have been popular and I am now offering the images as prints and on merchandise as well. After working as a commission artist all my life this series of paintings have been fun because I get to paint what ever my heart desires...every artist dream! Each painting has its own unique inspiration and that makes it fun as an artist.

Private Commissions Portrait

Advice to an artist who is starting out:
This would be my advice for any artist wanting to do this full time professionally. Make a business plan. Set a trajectory for where you want to see yourself as an artist in the next ten years or so. If you want to do this full time and make a living you must think of what you are doing as a business and make plans and set goals to keep you moving forward. This is something I had to learn as I jumped directly from high school in to becoming a working artist and with economic fluctuations and technological advances my approach to earning a living as an artist has had to change over the years. For a working artist like myself you have to be able to split your time between creating art and doing all of the marketing. The marketing that it takes to land commissions and sales, and that means traditional marketing, as well taking advantage of social media to spread your brand and of course drive traffic to your website and merchandising sites.


Grand Tetons, Canvas Painting


She Ropes Cattle, From The Cowgirls & Cows Collection




She's Over The Moon, From The Cowgirls & Cows
Collection



Contact Info:
Beverly A. Caputo
www.beverlycaputo.com
bacart2002@yahoo.com
(775)790-1249

http://www.redbubble.com/people/beverlyart/portfolio?ref=carousel_portfolio
http://www.artpal.com/bacart2002
http://www.cafepress.com/profile/132306882
https://society6.com/beverlycaputo

Herefords, Canvas Painting




 If you liked today's #WesternArtWednesday post be sure to check out the #WesternArtWednesday index page to see past features! Sign up for the Cowgirl Mama newsletter up on the right side of the page so you'll never miss another post

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CowboyAmerica, Poetry and Photography, #WesternArtWednesday

Today I get to feature my favorite Cowboy Poet and Photographer, CowboyAmerica!
(No one's allowed to get jealous that I say that cuz I'm married to the man!)

Without further blather from me, CowboyAmerica!


Connect with Cowboy on Twitter
Or 
Check out the photos on his Instagram Account . 
He no longer checks Iinstagram but there's some cool photos there. 
Life Story
Ranch Raised by a family of Texas Cowboys, we raised mostly what were known as “whiteface” or HORNED Hereford cattle, back when the Hereford was king. I grew up raising and training American Quarter Horses. I became a horse trainer for the public at 8 years old. I went on to work for a TQHA trainer of the year; we won 3 divisions of the All American Quarter Horse Congress in one year. Later I went on to work exclusively on a private ranch, training cutting horses and at one point I had 10 head of horses in the top 10 standings of the NCHA Area 24.
Along the way I did things such as gaming, rodeo, roping, and team penning. I guess you could say my life story has been about doing things on horseback. I’m actually more comfortable sitting on horseback than walking on my own two feet.


Career.
I’ve done many things as most modern cowboys have, everything from construction to welding, to briefly working for a Fortune 500 Company, finally with a few years in The Mission Field.

How did you get introduced to your art.
When I was a kid my dad had a subscription to Western Horseman magazine, so much like my collection of World Book Encyclopaedias I consumed every word and photo. The cartoons and poetry were some of my favorites and that’s what inspired me. I penned my first poem in the late 60s.

Subject Matter
My subject matter up until just a few years ago had been only true things, things that I’ve lived. As a kid I was inspired by people like Ben K. Green and John Ford, so my poems had always been about things I had done, like my poem "Twine Tosser". In 2009, after my poem "The Palomino Border Collie" was published, I decided to try my hand at fiction. That’s when "The Christmas Cowboy" came along and a few others.



Palomino Border Collie
There he was, as I pulled into the drive,
Standin there all shaggy lookin barely alive.
I stepped out of the pickup truck and mosied over his way,
Whataya say lil’feller, have you lost your way?”
As I dropped down on my knee and stretched out my arm, 
 I began talking softly, “It’s ok buddy, I don’t mean you no harm”
Slowly I reached to give a pat and reassuring hand,
But I could tell by the way he flinched it’uz something he didn’t understand.
Just at my fingertips, I could barely scratch his brow,
let me slip this leash on you and we’ll get you some chow.”
I’ve bought horses with cockle burrs and cows with mud on their back,
But the shape this dog was in nearly gave me a heart attack.
I got out the clippers and really went to work,
I’m a Christian Gentleman so I won’t repeat what I said about some jerk.
A couple hours later he was finally ready for the tub,
The way this pup was stinkin he really needed a scrub.
40 minutes later wrapped in a towel in the living room floor,
I saw a gleam in his eye that all owners adore.
He’d just been mistreated, maybe misunderstood,
But in the next few months he learned what it was like to be treated good.
He learned to fetch a ball and come and sit when he was told,
He even gained some confidence and learned to be bold.
He became my buddy and followed my every step,
Every time I went to the barn he was there to help.
Sleepin right beside me, following me around every day,
He became a ranch dog that’s all I got to say.
We went to the feed store, the ladies oo’d and aah’d,
Pardon me” a lady said, “for a ranch dog, his breed seems kinda odd.”
Ol’Ted was my buddy; I couldn’t shame him in front of this clod,
I said, “but he’s a special breed, sacred in his land,
Known for bein special; why he’s a heck of a hand.”
Lookin at his features, she wanted to know the name of this special breed,
Aw Ma’am” I said, “It’s not that special” It’uz like most I know’d she’d see’d,
He’s a palameaner border collie, you can tell it from the golden coat”
Rollin her eyes above her specks, she looked at me like I’uz an ol’ goat.
Studying him again she said, “OH I never knew,
But looks like this one’s makin a hand for a cowboy like you.”
Then she knew I was funnin, cause the ladies at the counter laughed,
At the breed I chose, to protect my other half.
So now you know Ted’s story, just an old mistreated mutt,
But that don’t change the fact of things, I’d still like to kick that ol’boys butt!!!

This Poem can be found in the book “A Bone On My Pillow” ISBN # 978-0-615-32797-6 on pages 28&29 and Ted is on page 30.
This Poem was written in the summer of 2004 after rescuing a part Field Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel that was soon named Ted (AKA Teddy Ruxpin). This dog was severely abused and was in horrible condition. Ted was one of those miracle dogs who made a complete turnaround after 3 long years of intense therapy. Ted is now happy to meet almost anyone and will often offer a handshake or a favorite toy as his greeting to a new acquaintance. Ted’s personality is now very close to that of the Championship Border Collies that I’ve been privileged to own. I still get to see Ted though he now lives with his new owner, a Portland Oregon celebrity make-up artist. I have rehabbed many dogs over the last 30+ years and believe that all any dog needs is a chance to prove his GOD given talents!!!




Christmas Cowboy
Years ago on the Flyin S when I was but a young man,
I had the privilege to work with Nick, he was the top hand,

He rode a spotted horse that never stopped to open a gate,
You’d see’m flyin over 8 foot cattle guards, A fact I can honestly state.

There weren’t none others I knew, that’uz quite like Nick,
He’uz always whittling, or makin something, even out'of'a stick.

Well it’uz in December and dern it sure was cold,
Heifers was out of the top section” is what we’uz told.

We saddled up our ponies, him on Spot and me on Ol’Cap,
And Nick he’d ride ahead and open every gap.

Ain’t no way I was about to jump that sorrel over a cattle guard when I could just as easily open that gate,
But dern if Spot wasn’t walking at a good West Texas rate.

Well we made it to the supply station and bedded down for the night,
After some of my good beans and coffee, Nick said we’d leave at first light!

Just before I doused the lantern, a feed store calendar is what I could see,
Friday the 23rd was the date of this piece of HIStory.

Nick fell asleep cutting on one of his sticks,
If’n it’d been me fallin asleep with my knife out I’d woke with more than a splinter prick!

Hard tack biscuits and dried apricots with our coffee and we saddled in the dark,
It’uz gittin light and Spot knew the trail, “We better git” is what Ol’Nick barked.

Well we found’m in the neighbor’s meadow, 144 head in all,
Nick rode to where the fence was down and he just gave’m his call.

I’ve seldom seen anything like it, heifers on the backside of 40 sections just comin at the sound of a Cowboy’s drawl,
It’uz down right powerful, akin to the Lord callin the Apostle Paul !!!

Well we spliced 4 wires and restretched the 7 all the way to the rock stack,
By the time Nick was through you could play a tune when he slipped off the fencing jack.

He seemed to be in a hurry, workin awful fast,
By the time it was all tied off we were feelin a Northern blast.

We headed back to the station to leave those fencing tools and I thought I’d fix some lunch,
But Nick was now cold to the bone and set in the saddle with more than his usual hunch.

We rode hard all afternoon, hopin to get back just after dark,
But on this 24th of December, Ol’Nick was shiverin in the cold and seemed to lose his spark.

We had made it more than three quarters the way back to the barn,
When I heard Ol’Nick say “well darn.”

What’sa matter Nick, have ya got some place to be?”
He said he had to get to town, there was someone he needed to see !!!

Well, knowin Nick a quiet man, that was something unusual to see,
I never known him to leave the ranch in all our HIStory.

Then he said, “me and Spot are gonna ride on ahead, you don’t have to keep up with us”
The last of them I saw was the big spot on that red nosed App slowly fadin away in the dusk!

He’d always worn a red wool coat handmade by a tribal mother,
Lined with white sheep skin like no other!

Well I awoke just before dawn and something wasn’t right,
I didn’t smell Nick’s coffee, he musta not got back last night.

I jumped in my boots and went out to the barn, there was Spot, still saddled and nearly froze,
Wy, I wouldn’t’uv even recognized him if it weren’t for that red nose.

I led him in his stall and got that icy saddle off his back,
And a few gift wrapped presents in an ol’gunny sack.

Was that what Nick had to do that rushed him off into the night,
He and old Spot and those cattle guards that were met with bounding flight.

Well, I blanketed ol’Spot and rushed to saddle Cap,
By now I was fearin Nick was a victim of mishap.

Well about the time I headed out the barn, Spot was bout to paw down the stall door,
So I slipped on a long lead, as his hooves were sparkin up the floor.

He was rarin’ to go, and I was sure he’d know the way,
So it was him that led me to Nick on that Christmas day.

That red wool coat, glistening in the snow,
But huddled up inside, Nick still had his glow.Well Doc got him all fixed up, made a splint for his broken leg,
But before Doc could finish, Nick had already begun to beg.

Take my ol’red wool coat, I’ve an errand for you son,
cause without the presents in that sack the ranch kids won’t have their Christmas fun!”

Nick is long gone now, and I whittle every chance I get,
Cause me and that red nose App on Christmas Eve are jumpin Cattle guards yet!

I still wear Nick’s ol’red coat, in memory of what he done,
Sharin the Love of Jesus, deliverin’ toys to little kids so they can have some fun!!!

Copyright 2009 © Flyin W Productions All Rights Reserved




Twine Tosser
Well it all started when I’uz 4 years old,
A 20 footer coiled in hand, learnin ta be bold.
It twern’t a store bought rope, justa length cut from the spool,
A home tied Honda an’a burner, I though it’uz just’ez cool.
I learnt ta shake me out’a loop n'whirl it about my hat,
And if yens heard Daddy’s stories, I even learnt ta rope the cat.
Twern’t real Cowboy gear, but it did the job the same,
Soon me and that nylon had us some fame.
Nothing moved across our yard that wasn’t subject to my aim,
Many a trip and jagged step, was added ta my blame.
Soon the dogs would run and hide, and little brothers too,
Daddy even warned, boy I’ll wear that thang out on you!
Confined to the barn, a bucket’uz what I roped,
Ta be World Champ like Phil Lyne, it’uz what I hoped.
I got ta go see my Peepaw and he drug out his Cowboy gear,
From behind the seat’a his Chevy ’62 he turned and said, hyere!
It’uz a real Manila, 40 foot in length,
And cuz I had been practicin, now I had tha strength.
He drove an ol’wood handle in the ground out in the yard,
And said, now boy take it easy, ya don’t haf’ta rope sa hard!
I thow’d a hunerd loops that day, and gave it all my best,
Peepaw said, son that’ll do, now come and have a rest.
This is where I learnt something, that stuck with me all my days,
Cauz as I grew I learnt to listen ta what ever’n Ol’Cowboy has ta say.
If you’re gonna be a roper son, ya gotta learn ta do it right,
Ya don’t have'ta thow sa'hard or even grip it tight.
It’s about the anglish, the smoothniss and tha grace,
That gets yer old lasso around that doggy’s face,
See son, practice don’t make perfect, but Perfect Practice is what ya need!
So after that I tossed that loop till my fangers wud bleed.
Many a day locked in tha barn, a million loops it seems I thow’d,
And as the years and skills increased, that 20 footer I out growed.
Daddy took me ta town fer my 11th birthday and bought me a fancy new rope.
But when I got to lookin at it, I wondered if somebody hadn’t been smoking dope.
It’uz made’a Purple Poly, with 3 weights at it’s core,
And of course ta the barn I went, till my arm was sore.
Man that rope was really fast, and building a loop’uz a blast,
And soon all 40 foot, this Lil’Cowboy could cast.
Settin on the saddle rack, a 35 gallon grease drum a’course,
But it didn’t matter ta me none cuz it stood the same as’a horse.
Me’n that Purple Poly could catch any thang that moved,
So Daddy decided it’uz time fer me ta catch something hooved.
I got to go help tag calves and even tattoo their ear,
But one thang seemed to stick out, this Lil’Cowboy knew how ta use his gear.
40 head that day before lunch, I didn’t miss a one,
Little did I know, this Lil’Wrangler had taken away all’a Daddy’s fun.
So he challenged me to a ropin, a dollar for ever one I could get,
After 15 head straight, he wutn’t sa sure about his bet.
I dobbed it on’m ever one and never missed a lick.
I could tell by the look on hiz face, my Daddy’uz just gittin sick.
See he’uz a top hand in his day, roped wild goats just fer fun,
But that ‘uz long a’fore the LORD give’m a son.
Well it wutn’t long til I’uz winnin, n’tie’n down I’uz real fast,
But sumthin else’d cum’along that ta'me seemed more of a blast.
I had gotten good at ridin bulls, and’uz winnin money left and right,
And haulin all them expensive horses was keepin me out all night.
I roped with Tommy Walker, Sonny Victor too,
And another feller named Roy Super Looper from just across tha blue.
But the full growed Bovines were more fun, they’er what sent tha money home,
So whithout my hoss and rope, I began ta roam.
Well ya caint ride bulls forever, they wear you out real soon,
So I retired, so nobody would have ta feed me with a spoon.
I went off ta Hollywood, and the director ask me if I could lassoo,
yes I been known ta rope a bit, and do a trick or two!”
Next thang ya know, there’uz seven cameras, pointed in every angle,
But it’uz girls in bikinis that they wanted me to wrangle.
I’uz in tha movies, TV shows, commercials n'tha rest,
But it’uz my trick and fancy ropin that I did tha best.
Out here on the ranch agin, enjoyin my time,
Rememberin bein a Twine Tosser,
N’spinnin you a rhyme.
Copyright 2009 © Flyin W Productions, All Rights Reserved.



Advice.
Write or do what you know, practice it repeatedly and like my grandfather says in my poem "Twine Tosser", “Practice doesn’t make Perfect, Perfect Practice does” If you need help, find someone who does it in a way that you admire and learn from their experience and expertise. I was fortunate enough to grow up around the last of the Real Old Time Cowboys, men who made a living in the saddle, so I hung on their every word as I grew up and began to live the Cowboy life myself, and eventually expressing it in poetry !!!




Catchin’ Fillies
I had an epiphany as I woke to the mornin sun,
I now know what it is that’s stealin all my fun.
Twernt an ornery Mustang, or rope that quit laying right,
It’s dern chasin fillies, what’s been keepin me up at night.
Oh it aint that I caint find’m or git’m out on the town.
It’s a teachin’m to ground tie that always leaves me with a frown.
Now I knowed some shiny fillies, what trotted with their tail in air,
But caint find one I’d trust with the herd, and that would always treat me fair.
Like catchin good horses, I’d say it’s about the game,
Now that I understand this deal, I only have me to blame.
You caint go runnin at their head, with loop that they can hear and see,
You gotta stand in the middle of the pen, and say easy now, come here to me.
Soon they quit trottin the rail, and lookin out over the fence,
They break’r down in a walk, then stop; and look at you intense.
Standing with lead in plain sight, they’ll mosey over your way,
Cause somewhere in’a twixt them ears they need ya at the end of the day,
If ya go easy, with a slow and gentle hand,
Somehow inside they know’ you’re their man.
They’ll come close enough to smell your breath, and look you I the eye,
And if that first touch is done correct, they’ll be with you till they die.
What’s the moral of the story, what is it I’m really tryin to advance,
Well it aint the loop you throw that get’s’m caught, somehow it’s the stance!!!
Copyright 2009 © Flying W Productions All Rights Reserved  





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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Skye Clarke Photography, #WesternArtWednesday

Today I get to introduce another real Cowgirl who takes great photos preserving the traditions she's grown up with.
I give you, Skye Clarke!




- Life Story
I was born and raised in Smoot, Wyoming where I still live.  I grew up ranching and my parents were also outfitters, so I grew up in the hunting business also.  My mom worked for LD Frome as a cook for his wilderness pack trips, and she took me 35 miles a horse back into the Yellowstone Wilderness when I was 6 weeks old to live for the summer.  I literally grew up on a horse and outdoors.  I have been self employed my entire life, and have done everything from building fence & hay sheds to feeding elk for the game and fish, break colts, feed cattle for another rancher in the winter, and also started my own fitness business.


My dad, Reed Clark shaking hands with Caleb Munns this fall when we were pre-conditioning fall calves.  Dad had his thumb tore off this spring, and it's still tender, so he's shaking left handed.




- Day Job (if other than art)
I run 350 head of mother cows and am a fitness trainer and nutritionist also.


Will James Days in Hardin, MT.  Pick up men hurrying to save the bronc buster




- How did you get introduced to your art? 
I have always loved photographs, so in the fall of 2014 I bought a camera just to take pictures of my family at brandings and general ranch work.  I have always looked at things different, and soon I started taking pictures every chance I got.  I am completely self taught, and still don't know what a lot of the camera functions are or do, but I shoot what I see.


My saddle





- tell me about your subject matter
 It's of anything and everything you would find on a working ranch.  Some ranchers sport more of the buckaroo style, others not so much.  My images are anything from a cow calving, to roping, to feeding hay with a team to cow dogs and the country we run cattle in.



Ken Clark shoeing a horse




- What advice would you give to someone just getting started as an artist?
 Be yourself!  Shoot as much as you can, then review your images and figure out what works and what doesn't.  Set your own style.  Do what is true for you.  Don't copy others (you can get ideas from looking at other artists images), but set yourself apart and shoot what you love!  If you are shooting what you love and enjoy, it will show in your work.



 "Peanut" looks in the back door of the old horse barn on the High Lonesome Ranch up South Cottonwood Creek near Daniel, Wy







where can people find you online?
http://skyeclark.smugmug.com to order prints,

https://www.facebook.com/skyeclarkphotography/ 

and my personal page:
https://www.facebook.com/skye.clark.94

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/skyeclarkimages/






















TJ Horton throwing a Del Viento loop at a branding



Here's a few more pictures to enjoy before you go!


 My uncle, Lyman Clark wondering what the hell that guy is talking about.




 Josie Vorous talking to her dog, Peach on her roan horse when we were gathering cattle off the range




Smoke and Shadows.  Branding calves for the Grindstone outfit in Daniel, WY



 Jak Christensen's cowboy gear




Ken Clark breaking a colt to work in Smoot, Wy.  Dogs are supervising




Bondurant, WY.  Lenny Campbell has his 4 up loaded with loose hay to feed cows.  -25 below zero.




My brother, Gabe Clark holding his son Jak as he brands a calf.







 If you liked today's #WesternArtWednesday post be sure to check out the #WesternArtWednesday index page to see past features! Sign up for the Cowgirl Mama newsletter up on the right side of the page so you'll never miss another post

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mary Williams Hyde, Photographer #WesternArtWednesday

Today I get to introduce Cowgirl Photographer Mary Williams Hyde! She has so many amazing photos, be sure to go check out her pages and see for yourself!


 I grew up on a cattle ranch in south eastern Oregon and I would have liked to have lived on a cattle ranch my entire life.  But a bad marriage ended that dream and I spent the rest of my life making a living in town for my three children and myself.



I work as a graphic and web designer and I specialize in tourism, ag and equine related marketing and advertising.  I took my first professional photos about 44 years ago when I sold advertising for the local newspaper and needed to take my own used car and open house photos for my ads.



Not living on a ranch left me with a broken heart and is the root of my need to document the people who keep the Great Basin buckaroo/vaquero/Californios traditions. I actually took my first photos of buckaroos in 1990, and seriously began traveling in 2005. I have taken at least a million photos and edited them down to about a half million that I like.



I have a MS Degree, in part in Fine Art, and have had nearly fifty group and solo shows of my contemporary art over the years before starting this journey with my camera. I use a top of the line Nikon now and I am also a master user of Photoshop and Lightroom which helps.



I didn’t know hardly anyone when I started traveling to the Great Basin, so I started by taking photos at ranch rodeos out in little desert communities, then I would make prints of my best, and have a box of photos in the back of my pickup for people to see the next time I visited.  That way I could build trust that I wasn’t going to misrepresent this proud and unique sub-culture of the bigger cowboy culture. At these rodeos I made connections to visit many of the big ranches where I generally visited at brandings  when the largest number of crew would be present at one time. I still photograph a lot of ranch rodeos, though, as a result of how I started this journey.



Facebook has been critical to sharing my photos with a world wide audience of now near 700,000 people who “like” my Buckaroo Country Facebook page. Before Facebook, artists like myself were subject to the whims and politics of magazine editors and art gallery owners. Facebook has made them nearly irrelevant if artists will work hard doing their “Facebooking.”



See my photos here:
http://www.facebook.com/buckaroocountry

http://www.facebook.com/buckaroocountryphotography

http://www.buckaroocountry.com/BCblog

http://buckaroocountry.smugmug.com

http://marywilliamshyde.artistwebsites.com

and my Mary Williams Hyde Facebook page

Here are a few more pictures before we go...













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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Western Art Wednesday For Kids Announcement




Today I'm doing something a little different.
I'm putting out a call for folks that help spread our Western heritage to the younger generation!
Do you know someone who teaches kids how to rope, ride, do metalwork, leatherwork etc?
Do you have a favorite toymaker for authentic farm toys?
Do you know a young person that is already working to preserve our heritage?
Send me their name or have them contact me!
I want to start having a Western Art Wednesday For Kids in the new year!
I'm hoping to do #WAW4Kids once a month starting in January, if I get a nomination that quickly. So please, send me those names!

Email me at: cowgirlmama14@yahoo.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Geri Dunn, Pencil Art. #WesternArtWednesday

Today I have the honor of introducing yet another great artist! (Its so tough having to immerse myself in great art every week I tell ya... ;) )
But you don't want to hear from me, so here is

Geri Dunn!




- Life Story/How did you get introduced to art/How did I get started:

I simply love what I do and I knew that from a very young age.   I am inspired by the simple beauty that
surrounds me.

Born in Lawndale, California, I moved with my family in the late 70's to the Santa Ynez Valley, just north of Santa Barbara. I took up drawing with a pencil the summer I turned 9 and was captivated by a natural gift to draw whatever I laid my eyes on. When I turned 18, I set my artwork aside. 10 years later, after marrying my best friend, I picked up the pencils again, and forgot how much I loved drawing.  I found the direction and passion that influences my artwork today.

Although I have had no formal training in the arts, I have been greatly influenced by Robert "Shoofly" Shufelt
and Frank McCarthy.  All of my drawings are carefully thought out months before the pencil ever hits the paper.
I use a wide range of graphite drafting pencils to create each piece of work.  Each blank piece of paper is carefully
selected to make sure there are no flaws within the paper.  I choose Bristol Board paper, with a Vellum finish, and skillfully develop several layers of graphite to create the illusion of depth and realism in each drawing.

I knew at an early age that my passion was art. My interest in the West manifested itself through
childhood drawings, and impressions gathered while growing up in a small town, rich with
ranching history. A self-confessed dreamer, I strive to go beyond just the basic techniques of
drawing, trying to convey the mood and feeling of the subject within all of my drawings.  I hope
that my pencil drawings make the art come to life.  In doing so, I want my sensitivity and
painstaking eye for detail to give my work a depth and dimension that is truly unique.
     
I am actively involved with the American Plains Artist Society , Women Artists of the West
and Southwestern Premier Artists.

"Taking a Break"  16"x22" This was one of my earlier pieces, created in 2011, but still my all-time favorite drawing. I had promised a few high school girls who were competing in the local Gymkhana events that I would take photos of them competing.  It was a very warm summer day, with very little shade, and it was sure dusty. One of the girls let their horse stray under the Spanish Oak tree while they went to take a break. This horse was an amazing athlete - he could easily turn on a dime, and you could tell when he ran, he absolutely loved going fast. His coloring was so beautiful, and the way the shadows danced upon him that day under the shade tree - I could only hope to recreate this beauty. I waited for several years before I convinced myself I had the ability to capture the beauty of this moment. Whenever I see this drawing, it takes me back to that dusty, warm day


Day Job (if other than art) Due to personal reasons, I currently am working a full time job, with the Dept of Education. Due to the nature of my business, I would rather not discuss this since there's not much I can say about it for security reasons. Eventually when things get back on track, my plan is to pick back up where I left off a year ago, pursuing my art career with full vigor.

"New Paint"  11"x14" Most of my drawings this size take an average of 80-120 hours to accomplish. "Fresh Paint" takes me back to a treasured memory, now several years old. I used to live on a horse ranch, sandwiched in between several horse ranches, with varying horse breeds. The ranches were interconnected, so you could walk from one ranch to another without having to go out to the main road. From my front door, my little Sheltie and I would walk throughout these ranches, past the Icelandic horses, Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and finally to my favorite - the paint horses. Late Spring was a perfect time to watch the babies being frisky in the back pastures, sun bathing and grazing next to mama.  Maybe because this scene played itself out so often, when I started this drawing, I completed it in just 8 hours


Tell me about your subject matter, (ie just horses, just buckaroo style, rodeo etc. ) My subject matter works itself around the western lifestyle, which includes cowboys, cattle gatherings and horses.

"Cool & Composed"  11"x14" Many of my drawings take a "snapshot" of a piece of the action. Such is the case with this drawing. I love putting in the small details of the drawing, especially the shadows playing across the gloves, the ribs of the rope, and the weathered jean shirt. It takes a closer look at an everyday image for those gathering cattle. During a cattle gathering, there is so much taking place, it becomes a blur of activity. This snapshot drawing creates a closer inspection of the calm, cool, composed nature required to get the job done efficiently. This piece was recently accepted in the Bosque Museum Art Show located in Clifton, Texas.

- What advice would you give to someone just getting started as an artist? The hardest thing any artist wants to hear is their work is not perfect. It requires patience, practice and a lot of hard work. The best thing any artist can do is to solicit feedback from other artists - preferably during a time when it works best for the artist you are reaching out to. For instance, if you meet an artist at a local art festival, this would be a good time to meet them, make contact discussing a better time to connect with them. This would not be a good time to bring your entire portfolio to the art festival for a critique session, since that artist is trying to scratch out a living that weekend at the festival. Be courteous, and follow up after the art festival. Finally, never quit learning - never quit pushing yourself. As an artist if we don't grow, we become stagnant and dissatisfied in the whole process of creating art.

"Brotherly Love"  16"x22" This is one of my favorite pieces. My very talented cousin, Brianna Burkett took the picture of her horses right before leaving to go for a ride. The love between these two brothers is very evident. I love the graceful arch of the horses neck, and the simplicity of this composition. To make my artwork "pop" off the paper, I incorporate a lot of dark tones next to very light tones. This contrast has the effect of creating depth. This drawing is a perfect example of utilizing all shades of graphite pencils to create this effect. This piece was recently accepted into the AQHA "Horses in Art" Museum Show located in Amarillo, Texas.


"Four Irons in the Fire"  8"x10" Quite often, I'm amazed to talk with people who don't understand black and white graphite drawings. What I've discovered is some people really can't see color when looking at something black and white. Such is the case with this drawing. At a recent art festival, the person I was talking to couldn't see the grayish-black smoke wafting around the branding irons. They insisted there was no orange or yellow in the flames licking out of the wood stacked at the heart of the fire. When I look at this drawing, taken from a local branding, I see the shades of gray as the fire takes hold. I catch myself almost mesmerized, watching the flickering yellow, oranges and reds dancing within the irons and reaching skyward. I recall the exact shades of that day, as well as the sounds and smells that brings a smile to my face, and takes me to the place where I call home. As an artist, I hope that others get caught up in my drawings and it takes them to a place that makes them feel happy and free.



.Where can people find you online? I am located on Facebook, Twitter (@Geri_Dunn ), and my website, www.geridunn.com, as well as my blog: Shades of Graphite
Get the story behind every drawing. Visit my blog!!!Want to see what's new? Where I'll be next? Enjoy viewing my website





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