When I was asked to do the poster art for the 10th anniversary of Ontario's Police and Fire Games... I was honored... but how do you fulfill the hearts, the loss... the dignity... the massive responsibility of showing all this emotion in an 18" x 24" poster? With my personality, it would have taken a house full of art... but with Amita Patel's "less is more" approach... "We made it happen." Bill Maxson, a police officer, Amita Patel and I met to formulate the image. Bill knew me as "our" hometown artist in a small rural town in Southern California... Small rural in Southern California(?) ... yes it is true... we have more cowboys, horses and the western lifestyle than any other town... cowboys and horses per mile! 40,000 horses in our small town. The show was to last for nine days... 6:30am to 7:00pm each day. It was a grueling schedule, the events ran day and night and the boxing late into the evening... The people were awesome... and meeting each and every one of them that stopped by to say hello... the sports ran from golf to go-carts... wrestling to weight-lifting... swimming to horse shoes... water polo to bicycling. I talked to hundreds of police, firefighters and sheriffs, border patrol... male and female... A daunting task for the great Ontario staff... always ready to help... Bob... Steve, Amita... Arlette... thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a great event.
I would like to show you my part of the Games... my artwork... my heart for cowboys... the traditional values of my country, The United States of America... my artwork depicting those values... and with the blessing of Bob Brown... he brought in my "American Flag" car... to be there right next to me, reminding all of God's goodness to America... and God's blessings on our country. The values of OUR flag and what it means to all of us.
This is my booth... and just to the right I am sitting at an 8 foot table painting RODEO! The day before, I was giving art lessons to children... My FLAG car is in the background... as I sit comfortably doing what I love most... painting... meeting new people... with my car right next to me.
The Convention Center had many new Toyotas... see the blue car next to mine. Mr. Brown, pulled out a new Toyota so I could put my American Flag car inside.
Thank you Mr. Brown!
BTW... I am painting Clyde Frost on Rocking Chair... Lane Frost's father and champion Bronc Rider...
Well... across the aisle from where I was painting... I was given the opportunity to display "my cowboys". Being a cowgirl ALL my life... they are very close to my heart. I paint most of the cowboys that were on television during my era... the 60's... The Lone Ranger, The Duke, Roy Rogers, Hoppy, Jimmy Stewart... most of them I know or have known... so for me to paint them is a very personal thing. I paint what I know... and who I know. This show was my debut for my "COWBOYS ON GRAIN"... this, an accidental happening turning into a grand time for me... the painting on the far left, the Gypsy horse was painted for a friend that was having a booth at the Horse Expo... I painted this for Fran from Thrifty Horse so she could put it on top of her booth to attract people. I loved painting on this wood and using the grain to come through and use it for effect. Being a cowgirl... I like natural things more than man-made and the more natural... the better !
I painted Jeff Bridges for The Cowboys that shoot at Rauuhauges for SASS. It was to give them the flavor of the TRUE GRIT! COWBOYS are supposed to have TRUE GRIT! The one I am working on now is Quigley Down Under... Tom Selleck as Matthew Quigley... then it will be Gary Cooper from HIGH NOON! Then a long awaited painting of someone really special... Audie Murphy. I have waited a long time to paint Audie because it has to be REALLY right! My good friend Ben Cooper made many movies with Audie. Audie was a very intense... a man very focused. After talking with Ben... and hearing his stories, it gives me insight on how AUDIE was the most decorated soldier in WWII.
For more to come click here on "Cowboys ON The Grain" .
THE WHOLE PURPOSE FOR MY BOOTH... was to put my heart into the making, painting of the 10th anniversary of 911. As a matter of fact... the purpose was so strong for and in me... that I also built this website... not knowing how to do it... but learned by warping my brain in a direction that it didn't go! As you see it now... there is between 1000 to 2000 hours and I lost count somewhere between going blind and brain warp! BUT..... a REALLY BIG BUT.... many years ago, a dear friend who has since passed, Ev Cheney made me a website... and it was wonderful... but EV died and I couldn't add or change anything... so I started from scratch... and really in my business of art from my heart... no one can put their heart into my website and have it be my heart! SO... God gave me enough brain matter to figure it out and now... YOU are the recipient of what my heart wants to say. With that wordy sentence said... this is Bill Spade... retired from F.D.N.Y. His story amazing... and you will be able to read a little about his story when you click here... (911)
I was so moved by Bill's talk about his experience at the World Trade Center on 911... and his battle to stay alive... being buried after Tower Two collapsed... and more... that I gave him this framed poster of my heart and what 911 meant to me. I painted a collage of heart everywhere... and included fire truck 79. Bill knew of this truck personally and it was from Staten Island where he was from...
Small world... but not really!
Bill Spade's words on that day... "WE WILL PREVAIL!"