“Talent, like birthmarks, are gifted an’ no credit nor fault of those who wear them.” – Charles M. Russell
Of all the Western artists, Charles Russell (the cowboy artist) is hands down my favorite; known not just for his art, but also for his intimate understanding of American Indians as well as cowboys and ranchers.
While he had definite talent, and his mother was actually a rather well known artist in Missouri, he never received a formal art education. Instead, he learned from life itself.
Working as a cowboy and living life on the range, Russell traveled from Montana to Canada spending a winter with the Blackfoot Indian tribe, learning about their religious ceremonies, arts, crafts, hunting methods, warfare methods and their tribal legends.
He knew his subject intimately and it showed – his art wasn’t romanticized – instead it illustrated scenes from his memories.
With approximately 4,000 works of art credited to him, Charles Russell has kept alive a forgotten way of life.
Of all the “cowboy artists” Charles Russell is the one I study, learn from and most admire.
To learn more about him, check out these links
So tell me, who is your favorite “cowboy artist”?