I love the romanticism of the old west and especially the role of the horse! In "The Wild One" I wanted to tell a tale of what could have been as a Texas ranch hand finally drops his loop on a wild roan after a long hard chase! But the story is left for the viewer to finish. A split second in the action and the cowboy begins to turn his mount to take up the ropes slack just as the wild one tries to spin away from his captor. The rest of the story lies in what will happen when the two massive animals hit opposit ends of the rope! Will the roan be turned and be captured? Will the rope snap and freedom prevail? Perhaps the saddle will give way and the cowboy ends up eating dirt, or, maybe all end up in a tangle on the ground. What do you think?
This is painted in oil paint on stretched linen. When I began this painting, I first had my basic idea in mind, then just started sketching the horses and rider figures in using thinned paint, developing my concept as I worked out the positions of the figures. At this point, I don't use any kind of reference materials. All work is strictly 'made-up as I go'. I checked anatomy on the horses legs after the sketches were mostly finished using an anatomical atlas. I' was already familiar with the appropriate clothing and gear typical of the 1880s west since this subject has been a long time favorite of mine. The background is typical north Texas canyonland and is a composit of photos taken in Texas and central New Mexico. When I began painting, I determined my palette and lighting, then started working in the background up to and around the figures. The figures are painted next, then the forground. Final detailing is done last, and, in this painting took several days to finish.
Canvas giclee reproductions are now available of this painting at;
he's cool now, but just wait 'til that roan hits the end of the rope!
He's not giving up without a fight!
muddy leg detail
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