I wrote some time ago that the old man portrayed in "Last of the Mountain Men" had a pair of ancient western boots nailed to the fence around his home, and that I knew I would draw them some day. I did, and they've been up here for a while, but I'm so fascinated by the story behind them, and the elderly owner, that I wanted to tell it one more time!
First of all, imagine buying a funky old house from the 1930's, hidden in a remote, hilly area above the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, of all places. Even longtime residents of the Valley aren't aware that this 36 square miles of homes exists. The details of that acquisition are here. That was four years ago and the old guy is still there, as are the boots I mentioned in passing, nailed to the worn and weathered wood that surrounds his trailer.
I said at the time that I knew I'd have to draw them - the rusted buckles, the ancient faded leather, creased and frozen in time...the miles they had walked...the stories they could tell.
So when I did, I figured I'd tell one of my own. I tucked a rolled up bandanna behind the boots, added some familiar greenery in the lower left hand corner and titled it, "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," a song by that legendary cowboy, Willie Nelson, and then it all came together. Suddenly, you can imagine those boots striding onstage to the roars of the crowd, the glint of the buckles caught in the floodlights, the smooth tanned leather gleaming. And the music begins.
I'd love to hear your comments. Art isn't art until it's seen, so I draw for an audience and your feedback is important to me, good or bad!