The Roaring Springs waterfall, where Matador Ranch cowboys stopped to enjoy the shade and cool water whenever their work brought them close enough. It was also a favorite Comanche indian campground from the early 1800’s. Inspiration for this painting was from an ~1909 black and white photograph by Erwin E. Smith. 5 or 6 cowboys from the original photo were replaced by the two in the foreground for the sake of composition. Permission to use the photo as reference was obtained from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.
Erwin E. Smith (1886-1947) is known as one of the best photographers of cowboy life of the early twentieth century. His photographs provide a snapshot of life on the open range at a time when the cowboy culture was changing. Smith wanted to document the fading cowboy traditions and ranch life as he knew it before it disappeared altogether. He recorded every aspect of working on the range from managing cattle to showing cowboys in their free time, capturing all the key figures from chuck wagon cooks to wranglers.
This painting is a 8×10 oil done on primed hardboard and finished with 3+ coats of Gamvar varnish. It is for sale at “Ranch Revived” in Groveland, CA including the ornate western frame that it is currently mounted in.