When viewers take note of the authenticity in Teal Blake’s body of Western artwork, they get a simple reminder that whatever painting he’s working on, it isn’t his first rodeo. In fact, before he got serious about art, Blake was on the college rodeo circuit and was so obsessed with it that he flunked his art classes.
“At that point in your life nobody can tell you anything,” he says. “I wanted to be off chasing horses and be in the brush and live that wild life for a little while. I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have. I was rodeoing really hard, and that was it.”
Blake started his college studies at Montana State University in 1996 and transferred to California Polytechnic State University in 1998. He was dividing his time between his studies and rodeoing, but not equally so. He started to skip classes and, he says, when he did show up, “I felt I was coloring inside the lines.” His art instructor, however, probably would have described Blake’s efforts as “outside the lines.” That instructor finally told Blake he would never make it as a professional artist and all but kicked him out of class. It didn’t matter to Blake; his mind and his passion were elsewhere. All he could think about was getting back in the saddle.
30″ by 30″
“Bucking horses will forever be my favorite, but I wanted to show the other side of that coin, as well as the raw power of a good Bronc.”
22″ by 32″
“The Cowboy shown is a top hand in Texas, a true Bronc peeler. But, I wanted the candid moment, the simplicity of it.”