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karchner, western, cowboy, saddle, oil

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This is another good friend that I met awhile back. His name is Gene Hartung. Gene is soon to be 72 years old. Gene lives right across the Buffalo Bill Dam from us. He happened to walk into our store/gallery awhile back and since Leigh knows exactly who I am always on the constant lookout for, she immediately asked him if he would post for me. He told her a story of how my mentor, James Bama, had asked him the same question several years ago. He agreed to pose for him and James took photos. What a shame Bama never painted him! His loss is my gain. During a driving snow storm, he and I got together for my photo shoot at his log home. I actually posed him in the exact same clothes that Bama did, except for his shirt. Gene had a favorite saddle as a young cowboy. It became completely worn out and is now gone. Since the Bama shoot, Gene took up saddle-making. He wanted to make an exact copy of his saddle, and that he set out to do. He had never made a saddle before. As he worked totally from memory, he actually made four versions of the saddle until he was happy with the fourth one. He sold the other three saddles. One went to a buyer in England. He was so proud of his saddle. I just had to pose him with it!! What a thing of beauty!! Since I painted Gene, he told me a little more about what he was wearing. He said that he had not only had made his own saddle, he made his vest, his pistol holster, his chaps and lastly his bone necklace. If you look closely in one of the close-ups, you will see hanging from the small center metal concho on that necklace is a strand of horse hair. Gene owned, many, many race horses. His most favorite race horse eventually died a few years back. This is a small piece from his beloved horse “Red Eagle’s” tail. What a tribute! I am learning real fast what fine, fine people this town of Cody has living here. Size 18" x 24". Original is for sale- $7500


3/10/2010 5:26 PM Premium
This is great! Share this media with your friends and fans to get more votes.

9/12/2009 10:37 AM
This is AWESOME!!!! Outstanding Work!

6/15/2009 10:14 AM
All of the faces have so much character!

6/14/2009 7:46 PM
Really a tale to inthrall! Love it!

6/13/2009 9:35 PM
Awesome! In every way!



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Votes: 15
Views: 1,119
Date: 6/7/09
Art: Painting