Rodeo Fever is a 27’ long x 31” high panoramic wall mural made up of nine
panels, depicting the drama and excitement of the signature sporting event of
the American West. The mural is priced at $30,000.
Viewing Rodeo Fever takes time – as the pageantry of the event unfolds
before your eyes beginning with the majesty of Patriotism of the grand entry
right through every event as experienced through the expressions of the
participants and spectators. It’s a multi-faceted scene that people are drawn
to view section by section while discussing the events portrayed.
The mural’s bright colors and feeling of motion create a sense of excitement
and liveliness that brightens and energizes its surroundings. Rodeo Fever’s
versatile design makes it adaptable to a number of different spaces that may
be otherwise hard to find solutions for. Its sheer length of 27’ allows it to
be suitable to decorate a large area. By placing the nine interlocking panels
end to end it could be used in a foyer, hallway or long restaurant wall or
behind a bar. The panels can also be installed to go right into a corner and
then branch out of it, making a truly unusual design element. They can also be
separated and installed around a room in groups of two or three to give an
interesting yet harmonious decoration throughout a room.
Held weekly throughout the season, in every Western city or town, today’s
rodeo pits the unique skills and athleticism of the modern cowboy against the
speed, cunning and power of the animals he works with every day on the range.
Just as each event in the rodeo is designed to showcase a particular aspect of
a cowboy’s life from the danger and drama of the bronco and bull riding to the
speed and dexterity of the calf roping and barrel racing events, so does
Rodeo Fever depict the thrilling action of each of these events –
capturing the cowboys and cowgirls at the precise moment when the outcome
hangs in the balance – as a steer is being wrestled to the ground or a barrel
narrowly being rounded at full gallop – Interspersed throughout are the antics
of the circus clowns who entertain the audience as well as keep a watchful eye
on the cowboys and the animals so that neither is harmed.
However Rodeo Fever is displayed it creates a truly distinctive and
unique artistic and cultural statement in today’s Western interior
When I visited Jackson Hole,
Wyoming for the first time, I was in no way prepared for the spectacle of it
all. From the moment we arrived, I felt that we had walked into a world unto
itself and I knew at some point I would recreate the feelings and visions of
that first rodeo.
The excitement and power of that evening was mesmerizing:
Starting with the “Grand Entry,” I experienced the sense of pageantry and the
excitement as I watched the cowboys preparing and relaxing before the upcoming
events. The bronco event with the dirt, horses and cowboys all flying I could
barely see through the dust. The majesty and power of the bulls, the courage of
the riders...The danger the clowns put themselves into as they enticed the
animal away from the rider….The action, motion and precision timing of the calf
roping and team tying.. The barrel racing with the cowgirls so eager to display
their quickness and handling of their horses as they go through the loops.
Since that first evening, I have been to many more rodeos, making many sketches,
taking photos and talking to the cowgirls and cowboys themselves.
When I decided to attempt to depict the rodeo experience, I realized that rather
than work on a series of small paintings, it was necessary to create an
environment with a panoramic view of the rodeo in its entirety.
I wanted to paint my version of the rodeo from beginning to end, and wanted it
to encompass the viewer. To accomplish this, I designed this work to be mounted
into and out of the corner of a room so that standing before it you are
literally surrounded. So I set up nine panels in my studio, together adding up
to 27 feet.
Pastel seemed to be the perfect medium to use. They are dry pigment, in stick
form that, when used layer upon layer, build to a beautiful richness and
brilliance, yet, at the same time allow wonderful subtleties to develop. I added
and subtracted various figures and animals to strengthen the composition as time
went on, always working from my sketches from the various rodeos I saw. Many
figures in the final work will be recognizable to residents of Jackson Hole as
they are the actual men and women who regularly participate in the rodeos.
Three years later, I finished. My hope is that I was able to convey the action,
pace, sprit and raw strength of the animal as he meets man and the beauty and
excitement of that encounter!