Archives for Wildlife

A Dream Realized

Mikel Donahue has only been painting full time since 2010, but he’s already racked up an impressive list of honors and awards. The highlight of his career as a fine artist, he says, came in 2016, when he was voted into membership in the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). It was the second time he had been considered for that honor, the first having been a few years earlier, when Paul Moore, a friend and CAA member, had recommended Donahue for membership. “If a member sees work by someone, and they like it, they put the artist’s name up
Read More

An Open Road

Doyle Hostetler rests his hand on the wheel of his rented SUV, radio turned down low, and a stack of paintings in the back of the vehicle as he cruises from Cortez to a gallery in Durango, Colorado. Although he could have shipped those paintings, he enjoys driving and finds these trips a nice break from his artwork and his construction business. Hostetler’s wife Charla and his family are back home near New River, Arizona, and he’s enjoying his time alone. He also knows that he’s now on the right road professionally, one that is leading to a successful career
Read More

Looking For Attitudes

The two weeks that Trish Stevenson spent at her grandparent’s log cabin in western North Dakota each summer as a child were the best part of her year. She and her five siblings loved how different it was from their home outside Denver, Colorado. They even loved the outhouse. “It was like camping for two weeks,” she says. “It was the highlight of the year for us.” But what Stevenson remembers most is her grandfather. She remembers how tall and lanky he was, how he sat with his legs crossed in a certain way, how he rolled cigarettes with Bull
Read More

Untold Stories

If you look for dogs in most traditional Western art, you tend to find them in the lower left-hand quadrant. They’re sitting at the feet of a cowboy in front of a roaring campfire, or they’re poised just out of kicking range of a horse at the center of the canvas. Their eyes tend to be looking at the focal point of the painting—a human being, a larger animal, an important event they’re witnessing. Their eyes tell the viewer where to look. They’re serving in their traditional role as man’s best friend. Man remains at the center. Not so with
Read More

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
Read More

The Studio of Nancy Cawdrey

Many people are working from home these days, but few of them have a setup as enviable as that of Whitefish, Montana, painter Nancy Cawdrey. All she has to do is wake up, descend two flights of stairs, and she’s in a 1,000-square-foot studio where she can work on her latest oil or watercolor painting or on one of the vibrant silk paintings that have become something of a trademark during her two-decade career. “My studio is in my house,” Cawdrey says. “It’s a little bit like the European thing, where you work on the ground floor, live on the
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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.
Read More

Human Symbolism

There’s often a moment during Mark Kelso’s design process when he discovers something familiar in what he is painting. For example, while working out the design of a piece that showed two bison in rut, violently going after each other, Kelso recognized the same intensity he experiences while practicing martial arts. Seeing that helped him to reframe the design. Instead of painting full bodies of both bison, he zoomed in to focus on their huge, colliding heads. “You can see the slobber flying, their tongues lolling, their eyes rolling back,” Kelso says. “It captures the intensity that I saw in
Read More