When I began preparation for this painting...it was in anticipation of a local bank's new building. I wanted to depict a typical small rancher in the Texas Hill Country, along with some other paintings, for their new bank lobby. As it turned out the painting went to another new bank in Houston. I asked a friend of mine, who retired from teaching so he could just be a cowboy, to pose for me. Really he was the ideal person with his border collie, saddle horse and small working pens. The idea was to show an older rancher waiting for a ranch hand to bring livestock so that the viewer could imagine any breed of cattle or sheep being brought in. As I worked, Fred smoked continuously, as do most cowboys. Later when the painting was finished i decided to remove the cigarette, and his hand has looked stiff and unusual to me ever since.
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