Slight change of pace for me as far as subject matter. I’ve never done much “western” themed work, being from dairy country here in the midwest, but I do have an affinity for horses, and I actually worked part time on a horse ranch once. It wasn’t anything glamorous. Let’s just say I know my way around a pitchfork and wheelbarrow.
Anyway, this past summer the rodeo came to town and I decided to take the camera and see what kind of shots I could get. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed myself. There’s something about dirt flying, large animals grunting with effort, and thousands of people cheering that’s hard not to get swept up in a little. There was a simple energy and physicality to the whole thing that I really enjoyed.
When I got home, I found I had some nice images that really captured what I remembered, and that’s when I decided to do a painting or two.
So no, I’m not a cowboy, and I don’t envision myself painting all scenes of the american West from here on out, but I did go to a small town rodeo once, and I guess it left its mark. I like that kind of stuff, and the kind of people who do that kind of stuff. So there may be so more stirrups and spurs on the easel again sometime down the road. That’s what this piece was about – energy, in your face, physical, dirt flying, leather, metal, slobber… It bled over into my painting technique as well. No, I didn’t slobber as I painted, at least not any more than usual, but it was a great opportunity to paint thicker, use the palette knife more, and have fun with some edges.