40" X 30"
Oil On Canvas
Bob's Petaluma Ranch
Cowboy Bob, who lives in West Sonoma County, CA is a hard working rancher. When I met Cowboy Bob he told me about how his family had settled in the area and about how much he liked being a rancher. Cowboy Bob said that his family has always been in ranching.
“It's not easy work by no means. Its hard work and long hours.”
“The reward is not money, but rather being out in the open country
with the livestock, tending to the daily chores.”
“You don't walk away from your ranching responsibilities at the end
of the day like a regular job 9 to 5.
As a rancher, you are always on call.”
I asked Bob if I could see his ranch sometime and he agreed to let me stop by . . . on one condition . . . I would need to come early in the morning before he began his daily work. Driving there, early, I noticed how beautiful the countryside was, with a blanket of fog gently covering the outer edges of the horizon, tje blanket slowly lifting and pulling back towards the bay, uncovering the surface of the land. What a view!
When I arrived at Cowboy Bob's ranch he was there, having his cup of coffee.
“Didn't think you were going to make it.
You city slickers like to sleep in – not like us country folks with responsibilities.
Let me show you around.”
As he showed me around I was moved by Bob's love for his land, his horses and Charlie, his dog. Charlie didn't bark much, just enough for me to worry. Bob handed me a piece of jerky to give Charlie explaining that he would like me for it and be more friendly. Let's just say that a little bit does not go a long way and Charlie and I kept a safe distance from each other.
Bob told me that some Saturday mornings he would meet up with his cronies at the local coffee shop and he invited me to stop by and have coffee with them. I agreed and looked forward to the opportunity to hear personal stories of other ranchers and to better understand the life they had chosen.
When I decided to meet up at the shop I had just completed the painting and decided to bring it along. For me this was the acid test, sink or swim. Somewhat reluctantly I walked in to the coffee shop with the painting. They had been talking about it before I arrived and were anxious to see it. I also knew that because they had been laughing and were a bit loud. Cowboy Bob asked me if that was the painting. I removed the paper cover and placed it on the chair next to him. As I stood there I wondered, “What have I got myself into?”
There was a long silence at the table as Bob and his friends looked the painting up and down. My mind raced along with “This is a real flat tire. This has got to be the biggest screw up ever.” It was not true. Each one in the group stated I had done a "real good job" and Bob looked like himself! High praise from this group.
One of the guys said,
“That's just like Cowboy Bob, sitting around, not working very hard.”
Bob laughed . . . and I saw the tear in his eye.