Part of the event adding to the pageantry of Cowboy Mounted Shooting is that the contestants dress-up like citizens of 1885. I painted portraits of these contestants set in 21st-century parking lots. Of course it didn’t look right. The contestant’s art or craftsmanship deserved my endorsement. I started to paint the background to match the clothing of the 1800s.
In the above painting my friends are decked out in their vintage cowboy clothes and tack, set in the North Dakota Badlands, which we really did visit a few times and I assume hasn’t changed too much for three-thousand years. We have all had some fun studying old Sears catalogs and history books to find out what kind of tack and clothing 1880s folks used. Bill Pugh, who was very careful about being authentic, happened to be wearing his horn-rimmed dark glasses in one of the photos. I left them on his nose in the painting. I think the glasses are the only part of the painting that doesn’t quite fit with the era.
After the contest of shooting balloons from horseback as fast as we could, we often relax around a fire, enjoy a camp dinner and talk about a variety of subjects. This usually includes horses, guns, growing up in the 50s, the hippie generation and what we did during the Vietnam War.