Oh, they are having so much fun disrespecting each other while fighting their attraction. It’s great.
To write the book, I’m researching western artists like Frederick Remington, Charlie Russell and Thomas Moran. So, since that’s about all I know this week, I’m going to write about them.
First the king, to me anyway, Frederick Remington:
Frederic Remington popularized the myths, legends, and images we now call the –Old West. Frederic Remington is the artist most closely identified with subjects of the American West during the last half of the 19th century. His drawings and paintings are wonderful but to me, it’s his sculptures that are truly amazing.
The interesting thing about Remington is he had this personaas a western man…almost like he hired a hot shot image consultant…. but he wasn’t one. He traveled to the west, looked around, then came back to his home on the east coast and painted.
He sold his first work in 1881 but in 1895 Remington began sculpting in bronze, and this is the work of his I love.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Remington portrayed a most characteristic and yet vanishing type of American life. The soldier, the cowboy, the rancher, the Indian, the horses and cattle of the plains will live in his pictures and bronzes, I verily believe for all time.”
Charlie Russell is the real deal. While Remington traveled west and went home to the east, Charlie Russell was a cowboy who drew pictures. A lot of his early work that’s been found is sketches added to letters he wrote. While Remington attended Yale, Russell was borderline illiterate. Reading the letters he wrote is painful almost for the misspellings and dreadful grammar. But that man would draw.
To me the most charming part of his story was, he got married and while he’d been mostly giving his sketches away or sometimes selling one for a few dollars, his wife was a business woman at heart. She loved his art and she sort of shoo-ed him out to the back room to paint and took over the selling. She made him a fortune. He is quoted as saying, “She’s selling my pictures for ‘dead man’ prices.”
He signed his pictures with stylized initials and a buffalo skull.
Some say his paintings of the Rocky Mountains were a factor in the creation of Yellowstone Park.We take our cattle to an auction barn every year and sell them and in the office they’ve got a sculpture, really cool, that I figured to be Frederick Remington, but I can’t find it among his work. But it’s a great sculpture of a cowboy roping a calf. Have you seen any of these paintings or sculptures around? Once you start looking they are everywhere.