This little watercolor is a portrait of John Redshaw and his horse, Kadance. I contrived the oil from the above watercolor and several images of the Black Hills with John and other friends riding and shooting at the Cowboy Mounted Shooter events. I have a bunch of digital images to work from.
As an art student I was taught not to use nostalgia, drama or photographs. I gradually have broken all these old rules implanted in my brain by long past teachers still speaking to me out of the Modern Art epoch. It is hard for me, this breaking of long applied art rules. It makes me feel guilty. Like committing a sin, it haunts me. Cultural taboos run deep even when they are irrelevant or out of style.
If you are offended by the use of nostalgia and drama in this painting you can use your own imagination or possibly darker memories to help you keep in mind that violence isn’t always as romantic as the setting shown here in the Black Hills and on galloping horses.
Meanwhile, I hope my motives are good. I wanted to make the point that even white folks that think alike and are from the same culture don’t always get along. Being of the same culture does not necessarily bring peace and unity amongst the members because some behavior is more primal than cultural. I am not familiar with every culture but judging by the wars and rumors of wars coming from all over the world, I believe that the tendency toward aggression is not only cultural but is a propensity that lies in every human soul. All humans share a predisposition toward violence.