Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fort Worth - Where The West Begins

My painting that was accepted into the Plein Air Southwestern Salon.
First I have some great news. I entered the Outdoor Painters Society's Plein Air Southwestern Salon Show and I had the above painting accepted into it. This painting is a view of the rose garden's fountain in the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. This is a tough show to get into. This year the juror and judge is John Budicin. I cannot even express how honored I am to have a painting in the Salon. The show will be in April in  Dallas at the Southwest Gallery.
Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price
This morning I got up and did a bit of painting and then went to one of Fort Worth's great Western traditions, the annual Stock Show and Rodeo Parade. I think this is the largest all horse and horse drawn vehicle parade in the world. After almost two hours of horses, mules, donkeys, and burros, you start to wonder if any equines are left in Texas, the surrounding states and Mexico..
The Six Flags of Texas
It really is a very colorful and interesting event. The mayor,city council, and other state and local officials all participate as do many of our wealthiest and most prominent citizens. Our mounted Fort Worth Police officers and many of the surrounding sheriff's posses ride in the event.

One of the stage coaches.
  As I said there are no motorized vehicles but there are many stage coaches, wagons, carriages, and buggies.The big draft horses are some of my favorites. This year there were several large groups from Mexico. The women wore beautiful local costumes and rode sidesaddle, The men wore the traditional clothing of the vaquero including large sombreros.
TCU's marching band
 My university, TCU's marching band participated as did many local high school bands, Scottish pipers, and a band from Zacatecas, Mexico. They were all on foot, but the Texas Girls' Choir rode in wagons. (They rode along singing.)
U.S. cavalry

A Christian riding group.

Confederate Cavalry
 There are a wide variety of clubs and groups that ride in the event including churches and historical groups and reenactors. There are cowboys, vaqueros, U.S. Cavalry, Buffalo Soldiers, and Confederate Cavalry but I only saw one Indian and he was riding in a wagon.
Beverly riding in the parade.
 My very dear friend Beverly Fletcher rode in the parade with a group from the Benbrook riding stable. She used to ride a great deal and I believe she was a barrel racer. I think it is terrific that she is riding again.
Me sculpting in front of the mountain lions enclosure.
 After the parade I went to the Fort Worth Zoo to work on my mountain lion. The mountain llon, or panther, is one of the symbols of Fort Worth and one of Fort Worth's nicknames was Panther City. In the 1800's a panther was spotted in Fort Worth. Dallas, always the rival of Fort Worth, quickly printed in their city's newspaper that Fort Worth was such a sleepy place that a panther was  asleep in one of its streets. Fort Worth accepted this with good humor and the fire department adopted two panther cubs as their mascots. Today the fire department and I think the police department have it on their badges.
The male mountain lion.
The mountain lions were sleeping in the sun most of the time so they were not much help to me. I did spend a while talking to their keeper. I always enjoy learning new things and I learned so much from him about the mountain lions and other big cats in the zoo.
My mountain lion in clay.
I am not quite finished with my mountain lion sculpture but I think I am pretty close. I've about reached the point where I am ready to be done with it and take it to the foundry.


  1. Congrats on the acceptancy Doug! That's awesome!

  2. Congratulations, Doug!!! Very well deserved and well done!!!