I did this painting as a result of my recent trip to the YO Ranch in Mountain Home, Texas. This ranch, which is located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, is rich in history and animals. In addition to the exotics that roam the 50,000 acres, like Giraffe, wildebeest and camel, they have lots of longhorn cattle as well. If you've never been close up to one of these bulls, you can find yourself pretty intimidated by their size and power. Everything about them shouts power and nobility. Instantly recognizable, Longhorn cattle are prized for the size of their horns. Horn spreads have been recorded over seven feet! These calves were following their daddy and sticking pretty close to him. But they also were pretty interested in me. I did my best to keep a healthy distance from them, since all animals can be pretty unpredictable when it comes to their young.
My aim in this painting, beyond showing the bond between this bull and what I assume were his offspring, was to convey the heat of a Texas day. The sun is so bright that everything fairly glows. I love the boxy lines of cattle, especially the longhorn variety. I can see why Texas is so in love with these animals. They are a ball to paint!
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