Cabin Fever: A Building Story

I was trying to figure out what I was going to write about today while I was doing chores. This winter has been relentless, not so much as in Wiscabin consin and the Northeast, but it is nevertheless beginning to get old. As much as we hate to admit it we do need the winter and we do need the snow but this years freezing temperatures have herded most folks indoors and has caused no shortage of cabin fever.

When I thought of the term “cabin fever” I remembered this book I read years ago about a frontier family being snowed in for nearly a week and how slowly everyone began to go mad. Then I remembered the cabin we had built last summer for the Artist Ride. It’s small, probably 10×12, the same size as the one in the book so I can only imagine how one would go crazy!

I wanted to share a little bit about our little cabin by the river. Cute little thing it is. Built entirely of cottonwood logs, it was quite a process, but well worth it. We started with the idea that it was going to be put together rough, whatever logs we could find that were long enough we’d use. After all, beggars can’t be choosers!

So, on a spring day in March my uncle and cousins and some friends cut down a few cottonwoods for the “foundation.” We used a set of construction I-beams as a template for dimensions and a way to move it once we had it finished. Chainsaws buzzing, sawdust flying, we notched the logs to fit together like Lincoln Logs. The notches were perfect, only….they were on the bottom instead of the top…oops! Aw well, we’ll just roll ’em.  About five of us grabbed the log and gave a mighty shove… nothing…again, with gusto!….nothing! So… we might have underestimated the weight of our logs a bit! Enter the backhoe, thank the Lord for the backhoe!

Several hours pass while we determine which end goes where. You see you have to alternate small logs with big logs otherwise one wall rises faster than another and it looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright experiment.  After several hours of chainsawing and more sawdust and with some help from the backhoe we had the foundation. It was maybe a foot and a half tall….hmmm…we’re going to need more logs, quite a few more. Find out the conclusion in Cabin Fever pt. 2!


Art Of The West

Art Of The West

A String Of Three, By Glen Edwards

Featured in 2013 July/August Issue


30″ x 50″

“In this painting, the cowboy is crossing the Cheyenne River in South Dakota with his string of three newly acquired horses. He is on his way home. The low, evening light creates alluring values, colors, and shapes. I enjoy watching and painting the movement of animals in water. A rear view seems unexpected and, in some ways, more interesting. The spacing and relationship of the animals created an appealing composition.”

via Art Of The West.

Tales from a Tailor

What is the one thing that really stands out about a “western” painting. Everything else aside, just picture a man standing along the ridge looking down into the valley below. What is it about the man that says to you it’s a western painting. Of course, his clothing.

Clothing is probably one of the most obvious and defining characteristics when it comes to period recreation. Not only does it describe the person but it reflects the profession, culture, region, and social status as well.

Here at Artist Ride, I feel that the participating models have an amazing collection of wardrobe. Many models have spent a great deal of time studying particular historic characters and the materials, patterns, beads, etc, that goes into defining a person from 1800-1900.

And much like it was 100 years ago, you don’t just go to the store and pick out what you want. Material perhaps, but a ready-made coat or vest from 1879, probably not. In many cases if you want it you have to make. I’ve always admired the fact that the settlers and Indians made their own clothing or had it made to fit them.

I recently ventured into this area and attempted a bit of tailoring myself. I wanted a coat that fit me the way I wanted it to. So, I picked out the pattern that I liked and got some cotton and wool material. Now I’ve never so much as sewn a button on coat let alone built one so I wasn’t holding my breath when I began.

I soon found that running the old Singer wasn’t too bad although those needles are not very forgiving let me tell you. A few stiches here a few stiches there and slowly but surely I started to see the outline of my coat. When I got to the point where I could try it on one sleeve was an inch lower than the other and the middle of the coat didn’t match up. When I looked in the mirror it was like looking at a Picasso with strange angles and uneven edges needless to say it was back to the Singer.

Now in the fourth week I’m nearly done with my coat, just have a few buttons to put on. Through this experience I’ve gained a lot of respect for those who made their own clothing and those that do today. It’s not easy, but it is gratifying and it has helped me see a different side of what it takes to personify the past!

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!

Reliving history one painting at a time!

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