After a long day, this cowboy takes a moment to appreciate the scene unfolding before him as shadows of glory move across the valley. This piece I’ve held in my mind and heart for over four years before my pencil ever touched the paper. This is the pasture in front of my bunkhouse with the view I see most every day. The sharp pyramid is one of the local focal points “Horn Peak” in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. After a lot of contemplation and waiting patiently for it all to happen, I found the perfect group of horses to fit my vision, to work with my “Closest Cowboy.”
Without something to Love...Love has no meaning.
"Wise & Noble" This composition and concept is very simple. I wanted it to be so simple, that its elegant. There are no distractions and there is nothing to hide. He is in his everyday clothes and you go straight to the soul of Jack. I did not want anything in the way of his wisdom, obedience, and spirit. If Jack, could talk he could share a lot of wisdom. -Andy Mast
"Flowers for Mom." I relived my boyhood fantasies as I created this piece. It feels like a self portrait. Memories flooded my soul of galloping across wide open meadows and fields bareback & bridle-less on our family horse Molly. I can still feel my hands full of horse hair and the absolute freedom. I carved on wooden fences & trees, picked rocks, played in the creeks, and plucked "Flowers for Mom." How fortunate I am to have these blissful childhood memories. -Andy Mast
For many years I had this profile in my head of our family's Percheron stallion Zeus, with his graceful form almost like a silhouette against the western sky. He displays so much strength, & power and is one of the most majestic, gentle, creatures I have ever known. My goal was to create a solitary feeling and perhaps even a little loneliness in this piece. I like solitude, because that is the place where I'm closest to creation, and real reflection can happen without being distracted from the noise of the world. From a high vantage point on a windswept ridge, Zeus, looks for his band of mares, where the view and distant vistas takes your breath away. He is high, and yes, a little lonesome.
On a calm, quiet, day, in wide open spaces, few words are spoken by these Loyal Companions. The mutual respect and gratitude among these three is not expressed in spoken words, but in the deeds they do, from grateful & solitary hearts.
My friend, a retired veterinarian, and his dog Jack, are real inspiring hands. Many are the foals & calves that have been delivered, by these kind hands, as were the many round-ups, in which these two made the best team. These Seasoned Hands, are a true testament of hard work and much love.
Not always do the best farm or ranch Partners carry the biggest wallet, but many times its our noble four legged companions that do not let us down and help us get the job done. This little drawing was a real joy to create.
Relationships… Is what this piece is all about -Another good friend of mine underneath a lone cottonwood in one of my favorite spots in the valley, With Faithful Companions by your side… one under your arm and another sniffing on your shoulder… at this moment, life couldn’t get any better!
The minimal amount of light in this piece I felt so keenly with my own life at that time. For days I would go into the studio in attempt to work on its progress but lacked the strength, only to collapse in defeat. The cowboy’s posture is stooped and spoke to me of my own debilitation. The dim light beam faintly shining down on the cowboy and his horse, matched my own dim ray of hope in life. The expression of the horse is the soul of this work. Among all the darkness and exhaustion the horse’s body is erect and full of life. He seemed to be bubbling with energy. His body wraps around the weary cowboy almost as if embracing him. The eye of the horse the most important of all, exemplifies the incredible amount of strength I pulled from to get through those tough times.
I am excited to share my latest drawing fresh off the drawing board, featuring a dear friend, which I have titled "Alone Together." My desire for this piece was to express the connection, and partnership between man & horse. The composition & design of the horse's neck coming down towards the cowboy, keeps a soft harmonious, connection between the two. The cowboys left hand & arm leads your eye back around to the horse. This softly invites the eye in a continuous circular motion, with the focus never leaving the two. I intentionally created a tonal background with the light illuminating the two to create almost a divine quality. To me it feels symbolic that God's Love always surrounds us through the grind of every ordinary day. "Alone Together" expresses there is "Glory in the Grind" with two great partners right beside you - the visible & invisible... a horse sniffing on your shoulder & God in your heart.