Archives for Portrait

Ranch Life Reality

By late fall, snow had already started falling in southwestern Wyoming. Even though she still had gardening to do, that snowfall was a joy to Amanda Cowan. “The elevation is about 7,500 feet, so it’s really hard,” she says. “The sun rays are high, and the wind never stops, but I do feel so blessed. I moved around before I got married; then I came to Wyoming. It gets 30 [degrees] below [zero], but this place is so amazing. I get to work on the ranch every day and paint. I’m so blessed.” The ranch is Myers Ranch, a sprawling
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Talent Times Three

It’s always exciting when we feature artists and their art for the first time within the pages of Art of the West. That is just what we are doing on the following pages, as we share with you the words and works of three contemporary Western artists: David Frederick Riley, Gregory Strachov, and Jeremy Winborg. While their journeys and subjects differ, what they share is a love of creating art. Riley evolved from painting portraits to wildlife in muted tones. Strachov is fascinated by rocks, finding a beauty in them that most of us wouldn’t see. Winborg captures the strength
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Capturing Nature’s Stories

Alone, on top of a high, open Montana hill in the darkness, Mia DeLode stood in her sheep wagon, watching as the band of wooly animals she was protecting from predators was bedding down for the night. Then the first lightning sizzled and cracked. The sky roiled. A second bolt spiked and jagged, fracturing the clouds with an explosive roar on its way to the ground. It was followed by another and another. “The crashes of blinding light [were] impossible to sleep through, impossible not to think the next bolt will strike too close,” DeLode says, recalling her days as
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Life is an Adventure

Ethereal, evocative, and touched with a bit of mystery, the figurative imagery and cityscapes crafted by oil painter and pastelist William Schneider are beautifully rendered. They draw viewers in, eager to learn more about the person or locale he depicts. Although Schneider enrolled as an art major at the University of Illinois in 1965, after 18 months he switched his major to psychology with a minor in business. He did so, he says, because he was playing in a successful rock band that was touring the Midwest six nights a week, making it difficult for him to get up in
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A New Chapter

TD Kelsey wants to be a painter. He’s been sculpting for more than 40 years, and his award-winning works are in the permanent collections of museums that include the C.M. Russell Museum and the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He has monuments placed at the Saint Louis Zoo and the historic Stock Yards in San Antonio, Texas, among dozens of other locations. Kelsey loves sculpting. It’s a medium that has allowed him to capture the essence of the animals he loves so much, especially horses. It has helped him to create a career, make lifelong friendships, and travel the world.
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Winds of Inspiration

Renowned artist Thomas Blackshear II is no stranger to commercial work. Before diving into the Western art world, he was an illustrator with companies such as Hallmark, Lucas Films, and Anheuser-Busch on his resumé. In the fall of 2019, he got a phone call from the manager of The Killers, a popular alternative rock band that wanted to use his work for its newest album. It was a project unlike any Blackshear had ever experienced. The Killers is an American band that originated in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the early 2000s. Almost 20 years and six albums later, it has
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Faith and Perseverance

Kevin Red Star has been painting scenes of Native American life for more than 50 years. Described as a master artist, visual historian, and an ambassador for his native Crow culture, his paintings have earned spots in several prestigious collections that include the Smithsonian, the Denver Art Museum, and the Heard Museum. Red Star’s works extend far beyond the United States, however, and are included in the collections of museums in China, Belgium, Japan, and Germany. His paintings also have earned a myriad of awards, including the 2018 Montana Governor’s Art Award for lifetime achievement and the 2018 James R.
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Young Talent, Old Soul

Brittany Weistling was thrilled when she was invited to be a guest artist at the 2012 Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale. That meant her paintings would be exhibited outside, rather than inside, the main gallery, but that was just fine with her. Weistling’s paintings sold, validating what the show’s officials already knew: Her talent deserved to be showcased during the event, which is conducted each year at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California, and features works by some of the country’s top Western artists. What made the experience remarkable was
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Sharing the Magic

In mid-August, David Yorke had just returned from his annual pilgrimage to the Shearer Ranch outside Wall, South Dakota, where he had spent three days sketching and photographing local cowboys and Native Americans as they reenacted scenes from the past. He has participated in the event for the past 20 years, normally joining 49 other artists for the retreat that ranch owners Grant and JoDee Shearer have hosted since 1987. This year, thanks to COVID-19, only about a dozen artists participated in the event. In an effort to avoid the risks of getting the virus while flying, Yorke opted to
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Beyond the Known Pathway

Whether he is depicting a day in the life of a pioneer family, working cowboys, dedicated ranch hands, or snow-covered fields, Grant Redden brings authenticity and a sense of immediacy to each scene. He does so as he continues to master his craft and seek ways to touch what he describes as “a raw nerve of emotion that is inside each of us.” Collectors eagerly seek out Redden’s paintings, and he has earned many awards and honors, including becoming a member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) in 2012. “Membership in the Cowboy Artists of America has been
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