a friend gave me this drawing as she said when she saw it, she thought of me
Living on the land, in the sense husbandry-men/women have for centuries, I am into that lifestyle. I grew up with this kind of home, not a big yard or mini-estate but a farm/ranch.
After marrying, I was living in a suburb of Portland but wanted to get back to the land as soon as I could. When I was 34, we moved to the 34 acres where we still live today. It isn't particularly an easy life. It's certainly not a profitable one, and if someone was into making money, they'd not choose it. But if they are into a life close to nature, it is perfect.
You might think with cattle, sheep, a creek and barns outside my door that I'd choose art inside that was somewhere else-- maybe seascapes. In my case, the life I love out there is the one I most want on my walls in here.
The cowboy way is a factor in the writing I do also. I have actually only written two books where the hero or heroine are ranchers or cowboys, but I consider the cowboy ethics to be ones I have in every story whether the hero is a high school principal and the heroine a home decorator. The cowboy way shows up in the ethics they hold, what they will do when push comes to shove.
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. John Wayne
So I thought I'd share some of the western art on my walls.
Where I have painted a few cowboy scenes, mostly I recognize this is not my gift. This poster (couldn't begin to afford originals by this artist) is how I see strong women, my heroines, myself, the life I want to think is inside me even now as I am old.
Three western paintings I like very much are by Judy Erickson, a Sprague River painter and real cowgirl. Years ago, I came across Judy's work because we had driven through Sprague River (small town in eastern Oregon) and stopped for lunch at a little cafe.
On the wall was a huge painting of cowboys crossing the Chewaucan River. It was full of wonderful energy and absolutely magnificent about the country and the work drovers do as part of their lives.
For sale was a giclee by the cowgirl who had painted what was virtually a mural. I bought it. It is of cowboys driving a herd of wild horses.
After getting the information on how to contact Judy, I called her, liked what I came to know. Judy bases her paintings on the life she has led as a cowgirl going on drives (yes, they still happen in the West and her experiences as a horsewoman.
Finally, we bit the bullet and bought one of her originals, Closing the Gate. She said it was based on having seen a cowboy doing this after one of their drives. I love the energy but also the life symbology of closing or opening a gate, which I have photographed often.
We then saw another print that spoke to us, which is also on our walls.
I would love to have a photo of the first one I saw of her work, cowboys in the storm and doing the work anyway despite the danger... Okay I'd love to have it. I could make a wall fit or build on a new room for it ;).
Judy Erickson's work is available at Two Rivers Gallery in Chiloquin, Oregon. Yahoo cowgirl!