I can remember wanting to ride horses and draw them before I started school. I also enjoyed coloring books about this same time or shortly thereafter. I didn’t actually get to ride very much until later but Cowboys and Indians were all we played when the opportunity allowed. School was always a bore but I managed to entertain myself drawing pictures in the text books. My family moved a lot across the Southwest and I always loved moving further West. I craved the wide open spaces! We settled in Artesia, NM , for my high school years and this is where I found fellow cowboys to join me in my madness. We rode as much as possible: milk cows, bucking barrels, pump jacks – anything that would move. High School is where I was introduced to some art classes, but had very limited instruction. I managed to graduate from high school without any honors, except in Algebra and they gave me the record for ﬂunking it more times than anybody else ever. The one thing that did stick with me and is not very far away to this day (after 50 years) is a book given to me by some close friends. It was my first inspiration to Western Art. I was always fascinated with the art of Norman Rockwell but this was the first art that I had seen that depicted the West that I could connect to. It was the Charles M. Russell Book by Harold McCracken. I immediately started drawing with pen and ink. I hadn’t used oil paint at this time but did try watercolor. For the next 50 years I was in search for art instruction while I made my wages punching cows when I could and several other wage earning respectable endeavors in between cowboying.
I have always been fascinated by these three things: ridin’, ropin’, and paintin’. I find many things similar in these three art forms. The challenges are always present in all three. Nobody rides every horse, nobody catches every cow, and nobody makes a masterpiece every time. I am satisﬁed to concentrate on the art form of painting, drawing and sculpture at the present. Sharpening the fundamentals of draftsmanship, composition, values of form, color studies of Chihuahuan light, paint quality, perspective, anatomy and proportions are something that will keep me busy through this lifetime. I love the problems of creating a picture that someone can relate to and feel connected to. This is a means of communications that has been around since the first cave wall artist. Expressing oneself is always a challenge, but it can be hopeless if you don’t have anything to say. I do understand that it can be very challenging to recreate one of God’s beautiful creations and it is truly great to share this with someone. My life has been a combination of the people I have worked with and their connection to God’s Country. Not to mention his animals. The stories are endless and all are worthy of consideration for a painting or drawing. Accuracy and knowing your subject matter is important to be convincing and hold the viewers eye while it moves around the composition of the painting. I would like for all of my paintings to be completely believable by the viewer, but have the look of knowing it would be impossible to get this shot from a camera. I appreciate the beauty of paint and all the fundamentals of the creative process. Human interest and humor are always a great ingredient.
Source: Mike Capron