Two nights ago, I got a call from my good friend Shawn Goemmer. I have just returned from visiting him and his wife, Mindy, and their family in Battle Mountain, NV, where I was able to get some amazing photos for future paintings. Shawn has been very instrumental in my career. Not only have I painted him more than any other cowboy, but also he has opened doors for me into the cowboy culture that I would never have had access to without his introduction.
If you possess my coffee table book, then you will see what a great subject he is. He embodies all the distinctive and honorable traits of the American cowboy, and I am proud to call him my friend.
But his phone call bore some bad news. You see, Shawn comes from pure cowboy stock. His dad, Lowell, ranches on 50,000 acres in New Mexico, and has been a favorite subject as well. He is as tough as they come. But Shawn was calling to tell me that his dad had been involved in a roping accident, and it was pretty bad. He had lost his thumb in an unfortunate dally, and they were fighting to save it and reattach it. Lowell is no stranger to horse wrecks; a broken pelvis and being drug by a spooked horse are just a couple of his adventures. But he always comes back stronger and tougher.
I’ve known Lowell for over 15 years, ever since my career started, and I have no doubt he’ll overcome this misfortune just as he has the others. But if you’ve got an extra prayer lying around, I’d appreciate one for Lowell. Here is one of my favorite paintings of Lowell, and the story behind it.
This cowboy’s name is Lowell Goemmer. He is quite a character and tough as nails. I first met him when he was still at La Veta, Colorado, before he moved on to Willard, New Mexico. He told me both of his sons are ranchers on pretty big outfits that they run themselves. I think he gets a lot of satisfaction seeing that his kids went with ranching; fighting the good fight in a tough world and holding their own.
All content and image © Mark Kohler Studio.
I'll be off tomorrow, but I'll see you back here on Monday.