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I’ve created many cowboy and horse oil paintings, but the idea for this artwork came from an unusual source - a very determined and capable young cowboy who couldn’t wait to show me how he could rope the mechanical calf and put his beloved bay gelding through its paces. He was all of five years old but he was like an old hand with his rope and his horse.
Anyone who's ever competed in shows or rodeos can relate to the excitement and anticipation of getting ready for their event. In this painting the whole family is in on the act. He was so excited to get on his horse and start roping! He led his horse over to get saddled, spurs jingling and his over-sized prize belt buckle shining in the sun.
"A Family Affair" is the result of my meeting with
this young cowboy and his parents. While striving for detail in the figures,
horse and saddle, the message of the painting isn't so much about detail as it
is about conveying the excitement of an early morning roping practice with an
eager young boy being helped by his family to get ready.
While I was standing around waiting for them to get ready, I looked over and
saw the whole family working busily on the very gentle and unruffled Quarter
horse gelding. Dad was helping his son attach the tie-down and Mom was busy putting
on the bridle. It was the expression of the little boy that caught my eye. I
decided that moment had to be captured and the result is this delightful family
scene that has been played out countless times in arenas across the country.
That little guy pulled the horse over to a fence and climbed it to mount his
horse, with no help. He then went on to successfully rope the mechanical calf
several times, and he even ran the barrels on his horse too! That horse had to
be worth his weight in gold; he was a babysitter if I ever saw one.