‘Horses in the American West’ Paints a Deeper Picture of the Artistic Process

Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-Four Artists offers insight into several works of art and encourages readers to look a little deeper at the art.

Horses American West book cover
‘Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-Four Artists’  | Hardback | 232 pages | Release Date: March 2018 | Publisher: Texas A&M University Press | $40 | or other online booksellers

“As understood in the words of the artists, a sense of passion to preserve Western ranching heritage becomes clear. Most of the artists have shared that this is the primary motivation for their artwork.” —excerpt from Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-Four Artists

Those who admire horses typically admire paintings, drawings photographs and sculpture that depict them. In the beautifully illustrated book Horses in the American West: Portrayals by Twenty-Four Artists by Heidi Brady and Scott White, images of horses are the focus.

But the artists’ and photographers’ words explaining their works are key to this volume, the first in “American Wests,” a new series from West Texas A&M University.

“The camera, paintbrush, and pencil, along with lyrics and sermons, fence posts and bucking chutes make up the visuals; but the makers themselves tell their stories,” the editors explain in the book’s foreword.

The artists range from painters Edgar Sotelo and Tim Cox to photographers Bob Moorhouse and Wyman Meinzer, and sculptors Veryl Goodnight and Harold Holden. Their mediums include oil, watercolor, pencil, pen, clay and bronze, and a camera. Each tell stories about their works and the inspiration for them, offering readers insight far beyond what they can see in the art itself.

The piece used on the dust jacket—Sotelo’s Freedom Run, a 2015 oil painting inspired by an experience at Hunt Land and Cattle Company in Wheeler, Texas—is described by the artist in a way any horseman can understand: “…it was pretty cold in the morning and the horses were fresh—they ran for about twenty minutes back and forth that morning. It was a joy to see them run.”

What runs throughout the book is a deep appreciation for horses, cowboys, the American West and tradition. It will help readers understand the intent behind many works, and inspire them to look more closely, and in a different way, at art.

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