Pencil Drawings…that’s it…..nothing else!

This week’s blog is on Woodrow Blagg and honestly since February is the month of love, I LOVE Woody’s work. His work continues to awe me every time I admire a piece.

I could stand and just stare at his drawings, which I do frequently. They are all done by graphite pencil. No color. No fancy colorful skyline. No staring deeply into the brown eyes of a stallion.

That’s it!

But…this man has a talent with his subjects – horses in particular.
And cattle.
And cowboys.

And how do I know that? I myself have had horses from a very young age. We boarded our horses at a stable; which is now the Aspen airport. I used to ride my bike from Cemetery Lane to the now airport (before there was a bike path). My horse was a buckskin named “Cherokee”. I rode almost every day so I would begin by wander through the field to catch Cherokee. I brushed him head to hoof, cleaned out horse stalls, rubbed saddles until they shined and glimmered in the sun. Most mornings I was off to Pony Club at the Goodnough Ranch on McClain Flats Road. My whole childhood and early teenage years were about our horses, but animals in general. I was going to be a veterinarian when I grew up. Who would have thought I would be an art dealer for now over two decades?

When I look at one of his drawings it brings back to me a flood of childhood memories, which I continually hear similar feedback from clients with similar backgrounds when they too connect to Woody’s detailed imagery.

Woodrow Blagg was raised in Texas. He is one of ten children, one of the twins in the two sets of twin boys in the family. He studied at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, one of the finest arts school. In the spring he would go back to Texas from Pennsylvania where he worked on a couple of the largest ranches in Texas. It was here during the spring round-up while riding and working with the cattle that he learned to capture the heart of the cowboy, the soul of a horse and ranch life to then painstakingly create a story – pencil on paper.

If you are in town visiting or otherwise I encourage you to stop by the gallery and ask one of us to pull out “Equinox”. This happens to be one of my favorite pieces. When you look at this drawing – you can actually feel the vein’s in the neck of the horse, almost reach out and touch the mane…it is really an uncanny, true to life gift that comes alive.

I don’t think there is a time that I have shown one of his drawings to a client that they have not stopped dead in their tracks and stand there -speechless. Literally speechless.

For the love of the horse, for the adventure of a ranch-hand and the ranches; there for everyone to see and touch even if you weren’t raised with horses. This man makes you believe you were.

I challenge you to stand there and see for yourself what I am talking about, see if you to, can feel the horses mane and strong side, smell the hay, and the cattle.

Without being there…you are there.

If an artist can take you back in time…remembering your love for these animals to where it almost makes you well up, because you have forgotten. That time. That place. Where you were consumed with that lifestyle, that deep seeded love of that lifestyle…

That to me is a true artist.

And in the end isn’t that why we buy art? Because, it takes us to a place a time that generates, meaning…because when we look at it, it brings us a certain feeling.

Isn’t that – if we were all honest, why we love art, and great artist?

It is for me, and that is why I love Woodrow Blagg.

Happy trails, Mia Valley