“I was born a storyteller.” So writes Mark Kohler in his book titled “Going West.” And he tells those stories brilliantly through his paintings of everything from working cowboys, bronc riders, and ropers to remudas, escaramuzas, and still lifes.
“My art mirrors my life and experiences,” he writes. “We paint what we are.” Kohler loves what he paints and goes to great lengths to capture scenes—and people—that captivate and inspire him. He visits ranches in several states and takes a myriad of photographs of the people who work them and the animals that inhabit them.
It took awhile for Kohler to find and answer his calling, but he will tell you that it was well worth the wait. His interest in art took hold when he was a young boy growing up in Austin, Texas. Describing his younger self as “a terrible student,” he says he was much better at drawing during class than paying attention to his teachers.
8″ by 10″
“Large remudas and big country are the rule out West for the bigger outfits. I photographed this young puncher named Linc at the O RO Ranch in northern Arizona, where he was tacking out his ride for the morning loop in the ‘coyote corral,’ a term that is slang for cedar-staved pens with untrimmed tops.”
14″ by 11″
“I took this photo of Valeria at one of the old missions in San Antonio and thought it was best suited as an oil portrait. The depth of expression in her eyes speaks of her pride in her heritage. The ancient stonework makes the perfect backdrop for her colorful and traditional costume.”