Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trip to the ranch.

Texas Hill Country
8 x 10
oil on canvas
     I spent last weekend down in the Texas Hill Country at a friend's ranch in Leakey. One of the neat things  about this ranch was that all the gates we passed through and we drove through about 5 to get to the house were electric. (In the old days you had to get out and open and close each gate. ) This ranch really means a lot to the family who owns it. When the grandfather passed away a small portion of the ranch was turned into a family cemetery so he could be buried on the land he loved.
I went down with my sister and  my twin nephews to pick up another nephew who was at camp in Vanderpool. My brother in-law is mountain climbing and my oldest nephew is fly fishing in Wyoming. I brought my art supplies but didn't have much time to paint. I did manage to work on two studies. The one above was painted on the front porch of the house looking out across the pastures to the hills in the distance. I left the fences out.
The Ranch House
There were so many things for the kids to do. We drove around to look at game in the evenings, hiked along the river looking for fossils and relics, played games, fed the animals, and shot skeet and had target practice.
An orphaned fawn.
This s a white tailed orphan fawn that my nephews fell in love with. There were Axis and White Tail deer all over the ranch as well as all kinds of birds including several varieties of woodpeckers, hummingbirds, doves, buzzards, hawks, a king fisher, and what I'm pretty sure was a bald eagle.

A view of the Frio River behind the house,
The Frio River was right behind the house. The river was very shallow, thanks to the drought that Texas is suffering but the water was very clear. We could see catfish and sunfish swimming in the deeper parts. Normally the Frio is a great river for rafting, swimming, and canoeing but it will need a lot of rain before there is enough water for those activities. I didn't get to paint it yet, but it is sure on my list of things to paint.
Two of the roping horses on the ranch.
These were some of the ranch horses. There were also Mexican roping steers and a herd of Charolais cross cattle on the ranch. My nephews really liked the horses a lot. They struggled to find a few blades of grass to feed them, with the lack of rain this was not easy to do. There is a great arena where the cowboys practice roping a couple evenings a week. It would have been fun to watch but unfortunately they weren't doing it while we were there.


  1. Looks like quite a ranch! The Frio River photo is beautiful and you MUST paint it! :-) Glad you had such a good time. Now back to school?

  2. Wow thanks for sharing the photos from your trip. It looks like it was lots of fun. Your painting is very nice too!

  3. This painting is beautiful. The sky is wonderful ...it reminds me when I visited Montana..very clear.! It sounds like you had a terrific time here...and hopefully we'll be seeing a painting of the Frio River soon, with all those great reflections!

  4. I can see why this place is so special to its owners. It sounds and looks quite magical. Your painting I think caught that uniqueness.