Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jess Hedges, The Buckarette #WesternArtWednesday

Today I get to introduce a new friend, a mom, an artist and an entrepreneur!
Jessica Hedges, Cowgirl Poet!
I think every wife who has a husband works long hours can relate to "Listening For His Cinch Bell" and I absolutely love the message of "Cowgirl Craze"!


Out in southeastern Oregon there is a breed of cowboys and ranchers thriving, raising their families, respecting the traditions of their culture. Jessica Hedges and her family live here, doing the same things, but she's trying to tell their story through social media and cowboy poetry. Sam, her husband, buckaroos for the ZX Ranch in Paisley. Jessica is stay at home mom to their toddler boys, Quirt and Cinch. Previous jobs and living in cow camp gave her the cowboying bug, a yearning for big country, and a desire to learn quality horsemanship and stockmanship. Although she doesn't swing her leg over a horse much these days, it is a goal to return to that part of her life as the boys get bigger. After child chasing and house cleaning, there is somehow time to perform and operate her accessories line, The Buckarette Collection.

Western or mainstream?

Although a lot of what I do appeals to the western world, there are many outside of it who are just as interested. Often times, it's a unique opportunity to share what the cowboying world and beef production in general looks like, possibly having a positive effect on preconceived notions.

Listening for His Cinch Bell

Dear Lord, I know I don’t talk with you enough
Here anymore, it’s just because he is late
I always knew his days would be long and tough
But I didn’t know how hard it’d be to wait

It's two hours past dark, four past quitting time
He should have been home by now, where’s he at?
A storm's coming on; I can hear my wind chimes
About then, the first rain drop falls with a splat

He mentioned he was checking heifers today
Up in the high pasture, the one past the creek
He was going to trot out, thought he’d take the grey
That raunchy one, you know, that has the mean streak

I know I shouldn’t worry, but yet I do
He’s a big boy, he can take care of himself
His absence continues to make my mind stew
Could he be hiding beneath the rocky shelf?

Maybe that no good colt tipped over on him?
Maybe those heifers are scattered all around
From heck to breakfast out on that shell rock rim?
And maybe, he’s lying wounded on the ground?

At the door, I strain to hear his jingle bobs
Regardless of the brewing storm just outside
This is the downfall of these cowboying jobs
Peering into the dark, looking for his stride

Lord, please quiet my mind and ease this girl’s heart
For the sake of my sanity, send him home
As his wife, I’ve always tried to do my part
I promised from his side I would not roam

The dog perks his ears and heads toward the front door
I can hear it too; his cinch bell ringing
And comes the end of my internal war
This time, but the battle wounds are still stinging.

How did you get introduced/what got you started?

I grew up with a lot of cowboy poetry and music. It wasn't uncommon to listen to Waddie Mitchell, Red Steagall, Ian Tyson or others while putting out mineral, checking wells, or making the 30 minute trip to town. Not only did we listen to it though, my dad would stop the tape and we would discuss what a particular line meant. Later on, I visited the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Watching all of those other poets perform I said, "I live on a ranch, I have stories, I can do that!" Since then, I've been an invited performer a few different times and the event still holds a special place in my heart.

Subject matter

As the old adage goes, write what you know. Most of my work revolves around my stories, the stories of those around me, and my outlook on life.

Cowgirl Craze
I don't know what has come of girls these days

Or why they are damaging the cowgirl's name

As their denim hemlines continue to raise

In a sad race for their ten minutes of fame

They've cheapened themselves from silver to rhinestones

Desperately trying to catch a team ropers eye

They're surgically attached to their cell phones

Chasing the Wrangler butt of some random guy

I've never been one to judge some others ways

But this is getting out of control you know

This diluted attempt of a cowgirl craze

Is in desperate need of a firm hand's whoa

There's still a few originals that exist

That work like men and keep a house like ladies

They are beautiful, smart and always persist

And'll pick a ford over a Mercedes

They don't wear Daisy Dukes with Fat Baby boots

And they're not out running around on their men

Nope these girls are grounded and true to their roots

And always remember to say their amens

So don't lump us all together, I beg you

Please don't consider those other as kin

Just keep this in mind about the cowgirls view

We're twice as hot and don't show half the skin

What advice would you give to someone just getting started as an artist?

Just don't ever give up. Remember that there is a creative side AND a business side to every craft. You may have the best work but if you can't market it, no one will ever know. Do not fear trial and error, going through the process will teach you a lot. Never under estimate the power of networking.

Tell me more about The Buckarette Collection.

The Buckarette Collection started as a pregnancy insanity project turned full blown
business. We had just moved out of cow camp, it was the middle of winter, I was 6 months along with my oldest, I'd been pulled off horses, and my husband went from a camp guy to a crew job. Life was definitely changing, and I needed something new. Since my cowboy poetry travels would have to slow down a bit, I needed to find something closer to home. Headbands were just starting to get popular, so I taught myself how to make them. Before I knew it, there was jewelry, hats, sunglasses, etc being added. Now, I have 2 seamstresses as well as a couple shop helpers and a new department being announced soon!

Where can people find you online? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Webpage etc?
Personal Facebook:

Cowboy Poetry Facebook:

Buckarette Collection Facebook:

Instagram: @thebuckarette

Poetry website:

Twitter: @JHedges_poet

Want to see more posts like this? Check out my #WesternArtWednesday page!

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