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Behind the Why

Have you ever had a part of your life become so special, so unique that you couldn’t imagine your life withoutDSC_0246 it? Artist Ride is that slice of my life. The piece that has been present since the day I was born.

We are approaching the 32nd anniversary for Artist Ride, a milestone for an event with very little publicity, yet is the art worlds most well-known secret! Lately I’ve pondered how have we managed to come so far. How has a seemingly small gathering continued for 32 consecutive years successfully? Well of course, because we host America’s greatest western painters and hands down the best western models is how.
This is definitely a “how,” but when I got to thinking about it my thought was, “Why?” Why have artists and models continued to return to the Artist Ride year after year? The answer, because our “why” is the same.

For my family and myself we want to share with the world our way of life and to let it know the west is still alive and well and we live it every day. It’s the hard work and deep appreciation and love we have for the work that we do that makes Artist Ride so unique. This IS real life. This is a working ranch, a culmination of several generations of hard work, love of the land, and deeply profound respect for the traditions of ranch life that have been passed down through the years.
Artist Ride provides a very unique opportunity to bring together those  who share this passion for keeping the west, then and now, alive. Artists and models create scenes that touch the heart, that reflect not only the serenity and the beauty, but also the trials and triumphs of  the past and the present. Models don’t don 1800s clothes because they like to dress up and artists don’t just brush paint on canvas for the heck of it. There is a passion there, a respect, a desire to bring to life that spark of imagination which makes a person stop and take a moment to reflect on the hard work that has gotten this country so far.IMG_0576

I recently asked artist Virginia Coudron, who has attended every Artist Ride since the beginning, why she continues to attend Artist Ride after thirty-two years.

It allows me to be apart of a historical life. I’ve dreamed of being apart of the western life ever since I was a little girl. To get to see it, touch it, hear it, be apart of it. It brings me back down to the freedoms, hard work, right to do what you want when you want. By going back you realize the hard work it took and helps to appreciate what you have today. I like to relive that and get away and appreciate the past to understand the present to look forward to the future.

If you’re passionate about your artwork and your heritage ask yourself why? What is behind the why that drives your dreams and passions? Take a step back and reflect and I think you’ll be surprised and invigorated with what’s behind the why.


Horse Tales

The horse. What can I say about the horse that one doesn’t already know. They’re capable of grace, agility, strength, compassion, and sometimes stubbornness! The last has a tendency to describe my guys Diesel and Dandy… some of the time!

Diesel and Dandy are black Percheron-Quarter horse cross geldings. Diesel is 13 and Dandy is 12. Now these two guys have had quite a life. They’re original owners didn’t care for them all that much, I won’t go into details because that’s not what this story is about. A friend of my grandpa, Myron was his name,  acquired them because the owner said they weren’t worth it. In speaking one day Myron mentioned he had this team of horses that needed some work as their feet were  really disfigured, it’s known as founder. Lavon said we’d take them and brought them here in summer 2005.D and D

At first glance their future didn’t look all that bright but we’d do our best. Their feet were specially trimmed and we all worked with them frequently to get them back into shape. That summer we drove them in the Wasta and Wall parades and of course it was their first Artist Ride. I don’t know what it was but there was something unique about Diesel and Dandy. They may have acted up now and again, but they had spirit and character that even to this day amazes me.

In the spring of the following year it was decided to sell them, this wasn’t my decision, but I had little say in the matter. I remember watching them disappear down the road, knowing I’d never see them again. But, that was life and as much as I hated to I had to accept it.   Several days passed and life went on as usual on the river.  One day I spotted the pickup and trailer coming down the road and I have to admit I had a hollow stomach because I knew that trailer was empty. The trailer pulled into the yard and stopped before the barn and when the engine shut off I could hear horses stomping in the back. The door was opened and Diesel and Dandy stepped out. I was so excited and when I asked why they’d been brought back the answer was that no one wanted them. Well it was someone elses’ loss for I wanted them!

The three of us have been through a lot together, both good and bad. We’ve carried deceased loved ones to their final resting places, helped happy couples celebrate their marriage, showed off in the parades and just had fun. Well…there was that one time they decided they’d had enough Artist Ride and headed to the barn as fast as they could-that was fun!! But that’s a story for another day.

Diesel and Dandy are a part of our family, as is any horse to any horse owner. I know our lives have been made all the more exciting because of their spirit and character. Diesel is a “work” horse who will pull anything you hitch him to while Dandy isn’t quite as ambitious but he’s a card just the same! They’ve been through a lot more than some and though they are getting older they don’t show any inclination of slowing down. To my guys who have taken us through a lot and to those who love and respect their horses and everything they do to help us keep the legacy of the west alive!


Artist Ride Thoughts

Well here’s day two of my postings and I feel a little bit more comfortable with the program. Starting to get my feet under me.I’ve added a few more pages to the website and added some general facts about Artist Ride so you’ll have to check them out.

While I was building one of my pages a friend text me and said they’d seen the site and wondered what I was going to write about? I didn’t know, what does one who knows nothing about blogging or web building write about? Well, Artist Ride is history, so I’ll write about history! But then…it’s also about art…so I’ll write about art! But…I… don’t… know all that much about art… other than Van Gogh cut off his hair…or was it his ear?

I’d like to write a little about both because it is the combination of the two that make up Artist Ride. I also want to write about the people at AR, because both art and history aside, it is everyone who participates in AR that makes it unique! 111_0968

All in all, I want this website to be an avenue of conversation and communication to create interest in not just Artist Ride but in the models and what they do and the artists and their art.  Also to prove I’m not completely insane when I talk about AR to people who have no clue what it is! I get the strangest looks when I start in about AR, curiosity, excitement, and my favorite, disbelief-the face that says I’m listening and pretending to know what your talking about, you know the one!

Check back tomorrow I’ll have a story then!!

Welcome to the Artist Ride

105_0810Hello to all and welcome! This is the first entry I’m posting in my attempt to figure out what I’m doing!  The basis for this page is the dedication to and promotion of the Artist Ride. I’ve been encouraged by family and friends to start a webpage with Artist Ride (AR) in mind and here it is! Tah-dah!…silence….

I think this is where the streamers burst out of the cannons and the doves fly from behind the curtains. No?…no, i guess not. Oh, I see here they charge extra for doves and streamers!

I’m really excited for 2014! It’s a new year for fresh starts and new experiences. It’s also the 30th Anniversary of the Artist Ride! Yes, for three decades professional western artists and western re-enactors have gathered along the banks of the Cheyenne River to capture scenes from the old west.

Many people today only read about the Pony Express and the trading done between the Native Americans and the mountain men and it’s hard to imagine just what life was like in the 1800s. The Artist Ride provides a snapshot into the lives and times of those who lived during the settlement of the West and those glimpses are captured by artists in their paintings. Now everyone can enjoy the moment when a remuda is run through the blue waters of the Cheyenne.

The Artist Ride is a great combination of folks from all walks of life who come together to recapture the past and preserve it for the future. Once again, welcome all to Artist Ride!