I don’t do cowboys – however . . .

Perhaps it’s because I’ve lived in Texas most of my life, but I tend to regard “cowboy art” as somewhat clichéd. However, I found this great early 20th century photo of a horseman that seemed as if it might work for an encaustic photocollage, particularly after I blurred the background using Photoshop.

Just for fun, I took pictures at every stage of the process, and you can see how it all went together as I worked through it – the finished piece is 16×16″ and is collage and wax on Arches watercolor paper bonded to a birch cradle panel. I might have done a few things differently, but I’m pleased with the result – it’s a new take on cowboy art! Now I just have to figure out a title . . . . “Blazing Saddles”? Nah, that’s taken . . . .

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Hey, look – this might turn out OK after all . . . dang!

I love teaching art. Actually, you can’t really teach art, but you can be an art coach and encourage the art that’s already inside someone to come out and play!

This afternoon, my friend Mary worked with me at the Studio on abstract painting. We started with a mj1hard task – saving some unsave-able paintings. In this example, we began with a background that had been painted in the last class but didn’t have much direction. First step was to make some random scribble marks right on top of the painting (left). Eek! 

But that gave us permission to really get into revising it, layering paint, scraping back into it, adding texture. There were a number of times when neither of of thought we were going anywhere, but we kept trusting the process. Mary was fearless in following my suggestions – brave woman. She added many of her own good ideas as we worked back and forth. Here are some pictures – the last photo is the finished piece. I love what she did!

Ya just have to Trust the Process (and read the book by that name). Which means – keep trying, add paint, subtract paint, keep listening to what the painting is telling you. Making art is HARD, but so rewarding! Great work, Mary – high fives!