I had the privilege of being able to hang out with this Longhorn-mix bucking bull on one of my many trips to visit my mom in New Mexico. Many times, I walked up and down the fence line of an enclosure of about 15 or so bucking bulls. The best part was spending hours just studying them. Eventually, they were accustomed to my presence. They each possessed a different personality and interest level to me, over the course of several years of simply observing and taking notes about them, and of course, hundreds of photos.
I call this painting “Shake, Rattle and Roll”. I painted this bull in three different “poses” as he showed off, I think, for me. One day, I watched him as he walked and sniffed around the other bulls, occasionally pawing the ground, and then wallowing in a bed of New Mexico sand and dirt. He didn’t go right to it though. He walked around the area before deciding to buckle his front legs and then his hind legs and a tremendous groan, expelling air from his lungs as he proceeded to roll back and forth, covering himself with a whole lot of sand and dirt. As he got up, we stared at each other, just focusing on one another, as if nothing else mattered. He then started to buck right in front of me, ending in a crescendo of straight up in the air, fixing his stare on me. I loved his eyes as he looked directly at me. Wow! What a show. I really felt connected to this bull thinking he put that exhibition on just for me. He certainly knew I was fascinated with him. After he was done with his show, he stood a second or two before walking off to lie down close to another bull.
About the cover art. This bull (above) with eyes on me was selected for the February 2019 issue of the New Mexico Stockman Journal. I am always honored when they choose one of my paintings to represent their journal.