- LES LEFEVRE
- Photo circa 1947, I always wanted to be a cowboy! Whether working for a short time on the historic Hansen Ranch in Jackson Hole as a young man, just out of the service, to working the stock at the Jackson Rodeo, it nurtured in me a love of the American Cowboy. From my home in Dubois,Wyoming. I look forward each spring to roundup time with my good Friend, John Sides. On his 20,000 acre cattle ranch in South Dakota, each year we relive what ranchers and cowboys have done since cattle were introduced to the west. Little has changed in a hundred years and the experience and camaraderie is all cowboy. The period of 1820 to 1880 on the western plains was the most colorful in American history. Unfortunately, I was born too late to experience it first hand.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
After leaving AR, I made a quick trip to the Sioux Trading Post at Prairie's Edge in Rapid City. It is a great place to see traditional clothing and regalia made by todays Native American Artists and the trading post has anything you could want for pow wows or to construct a reproduction of native art or clothing.
Soon after arriving in Dubois Wyoming, my friend Sig called me to invite me on a hike he was taking to Boedeker Butte with his friends Bob and Kay. We drove about 15 miles into the Absaroka Range to Bog Lake and then hiked a few miles and a couple of thousand feet higher to Boedeker Butte. That is me on the left and Sig with his dog Ruger on the right. It was over 10,000 feet and absolutely gorgeous. On the way up we passed a sight where Sheep Eater Indians had cut down trees many years ago to get to the pine nuts. The trees were laying where they fell. Bob bored some of the fallen trees as well as some live ones to try to match up growth rings to determine how long ago. I have not heard if he was successful. We also passed an ancient sheep trap used by the same Indians to trap and kill the Big Horn Sheep on which they depended for food, clothing and much more. We packed our lunch and dined under some Limber Pines near the Butte. I imagine we could see for at least twenty to thirty miles. I was pretty bushed when we returned not having hiked at altitude for a while.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It has been a busy two months. The photo shoot for western artists was held the last week of August on the Shearer Ranches North of Wall South Dakota. For those of you that wondered where we get our references for 18th and 19th century paintings, one of the places is Artist Ride. It is by invitation only to 50 of the top western artists in the country. There are anywhere from 50 to 80 models including Native Americans, mountain men, cowboys and cowgirls, both modern and historic as well as a lot of livestock, wagons, stagecoaches and about any senerio you would like to create. Most artists take any where from 1,000 to 4,000 photos in a weekend. Digital photography has probably expanded that number quite a bit in recent years. It is a working weekend but also a retreat into the unspoiled land of the Cheyenne River Valley and a socializing between artists and models alike. We have many friends in both camps. We take time to remember those who were no longer with us and even more time renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. These are but a few of the wonderful models that equip themselves with the correct outfits and gear to make our paintings realistic and authentic.