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My Western Experience -- More Than Just A Cowgirl in My Mind
One of my favorite possessions is a picture taken by my father, a professional photographer. He took the picture of me as a very young child dressed in a cowgirl outfit being held on the lap of a Native American man in a full headdress and leather as his wife sat beside us with an authentic tepee in the background. Another great childhood memory is riding a horse, "Big Red", from sun up to sun down on a huge working ranch in southern Oregon when I was in grade school.
A cowgirl at heart, I love the west and anything and everything truly western. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to raise, train and show horses on a small farm in Oregon. And, I've traveled several times to WY, MT, NM, TX and AZ, my favorite western states. On the first morning of my very first trip to Jackson Hole, WY, I found myself in the backseat of the car in downtown Jackson Hole literally surrounded by cowboys, horses, and a herd of cattle as a cattle drive proceeded through town. I could reach out the window and touch cattle. What a thrill that was for a young girl.
My husband, Jim, and I attend rodeos often including the NFR, and Jim has a float featuring restored kiddie rides from the 1950s that he enters in rodeo parades each year. Our house is full of western art by various artists. James Bama of Cody WY is one of my all time favorite western artists.
My own art often presents uniquely abstract versions of western and southwestern subjects. I am influenced by big skies, natural wonders like Yellowstone and the Tetons, towns like Sedona and Jackson with interesting histories, and stories and poetry about western culture.
Besides painting, I write poetry, including haiku and free verse, and I continue to explore photography, continuing a legacy from my father.
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