You might find skills so sharp at a ranching skills rodeo. These boys aren’t being bucked off strapped horses or bulls, but they can balance a lasso on their fingertips and rope a calf’s feet at a hearty run. It was grand to have the opportunity to go back in the far-away places where these men live and work. There are no grandstands or crowds cheering them on, but they get an amazing amount of work done in a very short time, with relatively little inconvenience to the animals or land.
In fact, I’ll inject here that if ever there were qualified caretakers of the land, and caring animal husbandmen, it would be the ranchers and cowboys. These men carry a healthy respect for the land, the animals, and a man who can work well.
Their horses are knowledgeable, coordinating in one spirit with each man, – like poetry – and the cattle respect a man on a horse.
“Cowboys in Tandem” is a painting of poetry in motion. I loved being in that corral, watching the synchronization and skill, feeling the heat the dust and the focus. Each man has a job, each man must do it well “like a well greased machine”… “Cowboys in Tandem” depicts two cowboys who have been around, possessing great roping skills and knowledge of animals. Behind them are the “flankers,” the men who hold the calves to be vaccinated and inspected for health. (Those calves are more than excited to return to their mothers.) There were many calves rounded up from many miles of land, so they have two teams working at once. It was beautiful.
There may not be grandstands, but there are some very good cooks, women who bring the meal across very rough terrain and set a feast in the wilderness. The men always tip their hats to the cook. They are always polite to a lady. I liked that.
“Cowboys in Tandem” is a large oil painting, 48″ x 60, showing at the Seedboat Gallery in Silver City, New Mexico.
See more western paintings at http://www.jeanbohlenderart.wordpress.com.