Fred Fellows, CA
Fred Fellows was born in 1934 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, home to the Ponca and Osage Indians. Early influences that shaped his desire to be an artist and nurtured his love of the cowboy life included his aunt who went to Taos, New Mexico every summer to study under Nicolai Fechin and Birger Sandzen. She encouraged Fred to draw and paint at an early age. He also grew up listening to stories of the Old West from his grandmother’s brother who rode in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and later the 101 Ranch Wild West Show, as well as his grandfather who went to Tonopah and Goldfield, Nevada, during the 1905 gold rush.
Fred started out as a saddle-maker for Butler Saddlery in Paramount, California, and went on to be a cowboy on the Jamison Ranch at Monolith, California, and then an art director for Northrup Aircraft. This all led to an interesting blend of art and the West, and a lifetime of painting and sculpting.
Fred is the longest active member of the CAA, joining in 1969. He has won Gold and Silver medals in drawing, sculpture and painting. One of his proudest moments was to receive the highly coveted CAA Award at the 2007 show, voted by active members for the best overall exhibition.
He also is proud of his wife, Deborah, an accomplished sculptor, who is a member of the National Sculpture Society and inductee into the National Cowgirl Hall Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.
Source: The Cowboy Artists of America
An Honest Day's Work
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)
Friends for Supper
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Oil Painting (2008) | Image Size: 24”h x 36”w; Framed Size: 34.25”h x 46.25”w
Celebrating a Business Deal
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Bronze | 7.5” x 8” x 12”; Edition #31 of 100
To Fight Custer
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Opaque Watercolor (2005) | Image Size: 13” x 19”; Framed Size: 28 ¼”w x 22 ¾”h
The Big 50
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Bronze | 9”h x 8”w x 9”d; Edition #39 of 100
A Trip to the Trading Post
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Oil (2008) | Image Size: 18”h x 30”w; Framed Size: 25 3/8”h x 37”w
While plein air painting on what began as a winter Navajo landscape, along came a wagon heading towards the local trading post. Artist Fred Fellows captured that image with his camera and back in the warmth of his studio made the addition to the canvas.
Guarding the Winter Camp
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Oil (2002) | Image Size: 20”h x 24”w
Fred Fellows used a variety of tones and subtle color changes to convey time and place in this winter scene of a warrior watching over his nearby camp. While the coat of the white horse reflects the light of the sun, the mounted guard is dressed in his warmest clothing to ward off the chill. He wears a wolf head bonnet and the tip of his lance glistens in the sun. The rider and camp are situated beside a still river, the surface of which reflects the mountains and trees in the background. Although much of the painting is white, Fellows has skillfully chosen different shades to give depth to the scene. He has added dashes of color to the warrior’s shield and clothing and to a figure standing at the water’s edge in the background near the camp.
Fred Fellows was born in Oklahoma and grew up listening to stories of the Old West from his great uncle who rode in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show further engaging Fred’s adolescent imagination and drawing talents. Later while working as a saddle maker and a cowboy, he was encouraged by his family to hone his artistic skills and become a commercial illustrator. He trained at the Art Center School in Los Angeles and built a successful career in the aircraft industry eventually becoming the Art Director for Northrup Aircraft. He continued to develop his natural talent for western art while working at Northrup and by the late 1960s he had established a sound regional reputation. In 1969 he was invited to join the Cowboy Artists of America. Since, Fred has established a fine reputation as a painter, sculptor, and as a visual historian of the Old West. His knowledge of the West is not limited to artistic depiction and academic study however. He and his wife, Deborah, are champion team ropers and compete in contests in their free time. The two raise quarter horses and also share a studio that they designed together where they work side by side.
Out to Pasture
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Oil (2006) | Image Size: 30”h x 40”w; Framed Size: 41 ½”h x 51 ½”w
In “Out to Pasture," Fellows presents a nostalgic scene that emphasizes that both the old, tired truck and horse have seen better days. However, if either could talk, there is no doubt they could tell more than just a few good stories.
End of a Love Affair
Artist: Fred Fellows, CA Emeritus (b. 1934)Description: Bronze | Dimensions: 9”h x 8”w x 7’d; Artist Proof
Horses and men can be a beautiful combination or they can be a disaster depending upon the rider’s skill and horse temperament. Fred Fellow’s “End of a Love Affair” shows an unlucky cowboy who has met a common fate, being bucked off an unruly mount. The cowboy has literally been turned topsy-turvy while his horse continues to buck. Fellows, with a background in ranch work, knows this predicament well and has captured the action with a flair for the dramatic.