Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Big Man With A Big Heart

     I thought I would break up the demo for a day and see if we can’t kill a couple of birds with one rock.  The first rock will be for the story lovers who might be getting a little fatigued with all of us in the one-dimensional art crowd.
     Rock #2 is for the painters who are tuned in for the demo and might enjoy a little insight into our subject.  And you might see your final painting in a whole different light.  Hopefully, we’ll move from an anonymous “face in a hat” to someone you now consider a friend.
     Walter Wier is the perfect choice for such a statement.  He’s as friendly as they come.  Your first impression is likely to be “this is a big man with fists like hammers”.  I know he knows how to use them, but he’d much rather drink an adult libation and philosophize on the intricacies of the cowboy lifestyle.

     I met Walter through my good friend, Shawn Goemmer, who you’ll be meeting in a future post.  From what I can gather, they met in grade school in LaVida, Colorado.  Apparently these two questionable reprobates would have rather been horseback than deskbound (just ask their teacher).  That was enough common bond to connect these two for a lifetime and led to a long friendship.
     I met Walter at the first branding of Shawn’s that I attended.  It was in Arizona 15 years ago.  Walter is a cowboy gypsy of sorts and hints at day working for different operations and outfits.  There are even unsubstantiated rumors of stunt work in his past.  Walter comes and goes and we cross paths when we can.

     I remember sitting at the C.V. wagon while he shot his new .44 mag lever gun at a suspended rock holding a water gap down.  I remember listening to Walt and Ken Haskins talk about their forays into town, which are way too colorful to go any further in polite company…. Let’s just say their whiskey consumption knows no bounds when these two go on a bender.
     When it comes to dragging calves, Walter has quite a reputation for being a bit of a bull in a China closet.   Walt always gets the job done with a jovial laugh and good spirits and two packs of whatever chewing tobacco was on sale.

     When the work’s all done, it’s always a good idea to drift toward Walter’s side of the tailgate; park it and take in the small talk.  You’ll hear a level of storytellin’ that will grab you; you better hang on!  And you won’t want to miss a minute of it.    

All content and images copyrighted Mark Kohler Studio.      


  1. Mark, this is what I really enjoy. The story behind the painting. Makes your subject come to life. It allows the viewer a deeper appreciation of your work and also a glimpse into the lives of your cowboy friends. Love the stories! Thank you (and your friends) for sharing.

  2. I'm glad you like the personal stories. I have such great stories because I've met such interesting people, and I really want to share them with everyone. I'm trying to balance the personal stories with "art" talk, so everybody gets a little of what they like. Thanks for giving me some feedback...the stories will continue!

  3. nice break from the instructional. when a subject inspires you to create art it brings the best out of you. when your artwork reflects emotions and memories it becomes very personal. sometimes thats why we can't get rid of certain pieces. great stuff!! keep it coming.

    luis garcia
    mission tx

  4. Thanks for your interest! I'm trying to give a balance to it all and it helps when I get feedback. Also like to hear your own feelings about art. Keep in touch!