Growing up as a kid in Brooklyn New York, in the 1940s and 50s, I was convinced that I was more of a cowboy than any kid growing up in Wyoming or Montana or Texas. Need I mention Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and the Cisco Kid? And, what of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea? And, then there were Cochise, Sitting Bull and Geronimo. Let’s not forget Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. Definitely! I was a cowboy.
Several years ago there was a defining point in my artist’s life. For years my wife Arlene and I would vacation out west. Several times, at western art shows, we would run into Joe Netherwood and his wife Stefanie. Joe is a much acclaimed western artist whose brilliant and stunning paintings bring the Old West to life. Not only did we become dear friends – I became a proud collector.
It was Joe Netherwood who encouraged me to pursue my desire to become a western artist. Joe introduced me to Jim Hatzell and the Artist Ride in Wall, S.D. The Artist Ride was a Brooklyn kid’s dream comes true. For me it was a time travel back to the 19th century west along the Cheyenne River. The Artist Ride was a love fest with people whom I will fondly remember all of my life. There were magnificent Native Americans from various western tribes -Thomas White Eagle and sons David and Joshua; and, Chief David who recently passed away at age 94 – a highly decorated World War II hero who parachuted behind enemy lines on D-Day. There were Midwesterners portraying their ancestors as settlers. There were mountain men and cowboys; cavalry and scouts; wild horses and longhorns and rattlesnakes. But, more importantly, there was a palpable and infectious respect and pride and camaraderie, which I hope, are conveyed to you in my paintings of the Old West.
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