Saturday, August 14, 2010

Among The Workers

This weekend I thought I would share one of the paintings that will be appearing in the Cowboy cookbook I am publishing with my friend Kathy McCraine.  Kathy wrote the cookbook, gathering all the recipes, the photographs of famous Arizona ranches, and the personal stories of the iconic cowboys that make this lifestyle their own.  Kathy and her husband, Swayze, have been a part of Arizona's ranching traditions for over 25 years, and I was thrilled when they asked me to be a part of this project.  Above all, I am proud to call them friends.

Among The Workers

     My favorite activities on big outfits center around branding and roping horses.  Images for paintings seem to materialize from thin air.  They come fast and furious and in the blink of an eye, they are gone.  I find myself scurrying from one position to another trying to find the best light and the perfect shot.  It doesn’t take a good cow boss or jigger boss long to throw 10 Hoolihans and secure the day’s working horses, so an artist must work fast.  This shot is of a young ROs cowhand roping midday horses at the West Split camp.  I still find it exhilarating to know I’ve gotten a great image for a painting.  Sometimes all the planning, driving, and bribing pay off.  I hope you enjoy knowing the workers.

Have a good weekend, and I'll see you on Monday!

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. I'm so glad you mentioned the photography aspect in this post, Mark. One of the things I love about your work is the gorgeous light and shadows. Is there a time of day when the sun is at a certain angle that you prefer to shoot your images? And also, what kind of camera do you use and what features on it do you particularly like? Would love to hear your insights.

  2. Jeannette,

    I prefer to shoot my photos between 10 and 11 in the morning, and depending on where you are located during the fall and winter months, between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. I just look for long shadows. But if these times aren't convenient for you, bright sun is better than no sun at all.
    As far as a camera is concerned, I use Lumix right now, but will probably move to a Canon in the near future, because of the speed. Choose a fixed lens, DMC-FZ30. Panasonic makes it and it is a Lumix lens. I bought this particular model several years ago, so there are newer versions. It has Leica glass, which is very clear, and is great for shooting almost everything. It's a great camera!
    Hope this gives you some valuable information

  3. This definitely helps, Mark. Thanks for sharing, great informtion.

  4. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions. I don't have all the answers, but I'll tell you what works for me.