Just about every thing comes with disclaimers these days. This is mine. First and foremost, I make no pretense about being a cowboy. I am not.
That said I have met the odd truly authentic cowboy. They are damn rare creatures that pretty much keep to their own kind, and like it that way.
On the other hand, I have had the good fortune to spend many hours in the company of people who have many of the skills, mannerisms and ethics that we tend to associate with the term cowboy . It is from this experience that I draw my subject matter.
The rest of this rant should probably not be taken too seriously. It is for the most part an opinion about nothing more than random thoughts and thoughts for the most part are not much more than recycled, slightly fermented, components from somebody else’s mental dung heap.
There is a little irony here. My first real job was, in a horse stable, on the business end of a fork. It is also where I got my first real lessons in business.
The foreman said a lot to me that summer: I was pretty green. Two things however bear repeating though because of their profound wisdom.
The first is- “the man, who knows how, will always end up working for the man who knows why”.
The second is- “the people coming through this stable (it was a high end horse ranch) for the most part don’t know much more than the front end from the back end but, they all know crap on the floor when they see it”.
Those two observations have been the foundation of my working career.
I have done lots of other things, like twenty years in the applied arts as corporate and commercial photographer, but really, it looks like I am still shoveling.
So why am I painting now and why the choice of subject matter?
The first answer is The Alberta Rangeland Calendar project. It is a hold over from my photography career. In the process of putting it together, I realized much of what happens while “cowboying” is not apt to be captured in the photographic medium.
The second answer is passion. Picking a point on a horizon, and just going, confers an unbelievable sense of freedom.
The calendar project provides the excuse and keeps me in the right company. The painting allows me to viscerally relive the experience.
More next time-