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Shawn Cameron
 



 

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We're pleased to feature noted Arizona artist, poet, and fourth-generation rancher Shawn Cameron's (shawncameron.com) painting, "Making Adjustments," as the 2013 Cowboy Poetry Week poster painting, and as Art Spur  subject


© 2012, Shawn Cameron;  shawncameron.com
Web reproduction permitted for Cowboy Poetry Week promotion with the credit line included:
"Making Adjustments" © 2012, by Shawn Cameron, ShawnCameron.com
; Cowboy Poetry Week 2013, CowboyPoetry.com"
 Publications, email us for high resolution print reproduction information.


 


© 2012, Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
Oil, 18x24
"Making Adjustments"

 

Shawn Cameron comments on the painting:

I have spent my life watching cowboys work and noted the horses, equipment and attitudes they possess. The best ones are alert to what is ahead and prepare themselves accordingly. "Making Adjustments" is a painting of a good hand, Toby Foote, checking his cinch before roping calves to be branded.


 

Find Art Spur information here.



 

 
© 2011, Shawn Cameron

Shawn Cameron's "Mornings on Horseback" was a featured Art Spur. Read the selected poems, here.


 

About Shawn Cameron
from shawncameron.com


Like many in her field, Shawn is considered an accomplished professional in the arena of Western Art but her roots run deeper than most when it comes to subject matter. Her work is a passionate reflection of what she knows personally, Western ranch life.

Her family's involvement in the state's cattle business began over 135 years ago. Both sides of her family are Arizona pioneers. Her paternal great-grandfather, James Henry Wingfield, his father, two brothers and their families used oxen to pull their covered wagons west on the Oregon Trail, then traveled south with horse drawn wagons to Arizona crossing the Colorado River with 200 head of cattle in 1875. They settled in the area of Camp Verde. A family brand registered by them in 1885 is reportedly one of the state’s oldest on file.

Her maternal grandfather, John Osborne, rode horseback to Arizona from Kansas in 1908. He obtained work near Globe at the largest ranch in Arizona, the Chiricahua Cattle Company, better known as the "Cherrycows." He moved to general manager in 1915. He eventually owned several ranches and in 1961 was honored as Cattleman of the Year by the Arizona Cattlegrowers Association. That legacy continues as Shawn and Dean’s children carry ranching into the fifth generation.

She credits the Lord, a lifelong love affair with art and a unique family heritage for her perspective of the west. Possessing a deep appreciation for the true cowboy, the elements of his world become an inspiration for her work. There is nobility about him. As Poet Utah Phillips wrote about the cowboy, “If dirt were a kingdom, then he would be king.”

Artistic talent manifested itself at an early age and art education was provided through formal and informal settings. Several mentors were influential but the early encouragement of Joe Beeler, Bill Owen and Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt proved valuable. Others she has studied with include: Jim Wilcox, Dan Robinson, Bill Anton, Mark Daily, Jim Norton CAA, Ron Riddick CAA, Matt Smith, Martin Grelle CAA, Bruce Greene CAA, and sculptor, John Coleman. Her primary medium is oil but she has worked in pencil, watercolor, pastel and clay.

While raising her children on the ranch, she obtained a Bachelors of Education with a minor in Written Expression, yet art remained her first love. She had come to a fork in the road requiring a career decision. It was Dean who provided the counsel, strength and courage she needed to travel the uncharted course of her artistic development. He remains a major source of encouragement and support. After many years in the art world she retains the heart of a student whose goal is continual improvement.

A water tower remodeled into a modern studio near their home, sits on the banks of the Verde River north of Prescott, Arizona. Horses are within a few feet of her door and provide an opportunity to sketch and paint from life. These studies are then taken indoors as painting resources. Material is gathered on family ranches. Her studio paintings include men and livestock with vital connections to the contemporary ranching scene. Her family is often part of this story. Because of her intimate relationship to the animals and cowboys, she takes pride in portraying them accurately.

Several publications have featured Shawn's work including Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, Art of the West and Western Horseman. Her paintings have served as the covers of Equine Art and Western Horseman. The Arizona Cowpuncher's Rodeo and Prescott Cowboy Poetry Gathering are among those that have used her paintings on their posters.

Art Shows she's participated in include the Prix de West at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Heart of the West at the National Cowgirl Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas; Cowgirl Up! at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona and honored as the co-featured artist at the C.M. Russell Auction in Great Falls, Montana. Shawn won her first professional art awards early in her career. In 1992 she received the Phippen Family Award and Second in drawing at the Phippen Memorial Western Art Show. Her work has been recognized in a variety of venues but one she's especially honored by is the 2007 Cowgirl Up! “Artist’s Choice Award.” Her paintings can be seen in Trailside Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona and Jackson, Wyoming and Tierney Fine Art in Bozeman, Montana.

 

Find more at www.shawncameron.com which includes her blog.

Find  additional samples of Shawn Cameron's art below.

 

The 2004 17th Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering poster featured artist Shawn Cameron's The event's invited poets write poems about the poster painting, and the poems are presented at sessions during the event. Shawn Cameron and the gathering organizers gave us permission to share the image, and our feature here includes a selection of the 2004 poster poems. We are particularly pleased to have Shawn Cameron's own poem, "Cactus, Sand and Stone (or Corrientes and the Cowboy)" in that selection and also below.

Shawn Cameron also shared another of poems, "The Echo of Jangling Spurs," also posted below.

 


Shawn Cameron's Art

Below are a few sample images of Shawn Cameron's work. Find more about Shawn Cameron and her work at shawncameronart.com, which includes her blog.

Below:
Vanished Trail
Loosening Up
Red Silk
Frisky

Along the Santa Maria
(in the poetry section below)
 


Vanished Trail

 
© 2011, Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
Oil
30x24

"Vanished Trail"

Shawn Cameron wrote in her blog about this painting:

It is an unusual painting for me, for it includes water...lots of it. It depicts the Verde River near our home. Many of my pieces include dust and dry country and it was a comfortable change to work with a riparian landscape. The Verde is one of Arizona's major rivers and it actually begins at the bottom of the canyon just below our house.

This scene occurred near the Verde's headwaters. My husband, Dean, was teaching a young horse to pack and the river canyon is a great school ground. The next step in the filly's education, was to carry the weight of salt blocks and soon...she learned to carry the weight of a man. She is intelligent and learns quickly. Currently, she is advancing her skills with a trainer and is leaving a very favorable impression with him. Perhaps the soothing waters of the Verde were a good beginning for her.

She, Pinto and Dean followed the trails along the banks, dodging bushes and jumping ravines until their trail lead down the bank and vanished beneath the water's surface. She, then, trustingly followed their lead as they crossed the depths to the other side. As I said, she learned quickly. We're excited about her future...
 


Loosening Up


© 2009, Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
Oil
18x24

"Loosening Up"


Shawn Cameron wrote in her blog about this painting:

The inspiration was our son-in-law, Danny, who had been gathering cattle all morning during spring roundup. At the corrals, he loosened his cinch, creating some breathing room for his partner. The corral branding was next and would predominately be ground work.

If I were to chose one word for this painting, it would be reflections. It is a moment of transition connecting the mornings work and what would occur in the hours to come. This was the pause between the chapters of the day where I am sure Danny gave thought to his morning as well as what was ahead.

The figures reflect the colors of the environment but the lighter values of the white shirt and grey horse provide added opportunity for color to vibrate. This piece was fun...I enjoyed the journey!

 


Red Silk


© 2010, Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
Oil
10x8

"Red Silk"
 

In the blog entry mentioned above about "Loosening Up," Shawn Cameron comments on this miniature, "Again, the vibrations of cool and warm attracted me."
 


Frisky


© 2011, Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
Oil
12x9

"Frisky"

 


Shawn Cameron's Poetry

Below:
The Echo of Jangling Spurs
Cactus, Sand and Stone (or Corrientes and the Cowboy)
 


 

The Echo of Jangling Spurs

 

Shawn Cameron introduces the poem:

My art is a window into my life. I am passionate about the cowboy and ranch life my family has, and continues, to live. I wrote this poem several years ago when our multi-generation family ranch sold and Dean and I briefly lived closer to town. We were soon on another, more rural ranch but in this period of grieving my heart ached for what I had always known…

 

The Echo of Jangling Spurs

I sit in October's pre-dawn darkness
but much is missing.

There are no jangling spurs
nor booted heels across oak floors to tables set for ten.

There are no fragrant pots of coffee,
nor sputtering pans of meat...

Nor voices of men passing steaming platters that must suffice 'till darkness comes...
and the ritual is repeated.

From my window I see no cold-backed horses silhouetted against the barn light where
chapped and booted men with heavy coats
flash fleeting outlines packing bridles...blankets...and saddles.

I see nothing...nothing but the twinkle of small lights that are as fallen stars on nearby
hills.

I wait, but hear nothing familiar...no sound of horses' hooves echoing in crisp fall air
carrying impatient, purposeful men bent on beating the sun to distant mesas.

No...only highways screeching with the sound of
strangers speeding toward unknown destinations.

I find nothing of my world here, but uncontrollably, it will find me. It will come to me
when the first frost of fall glistens on October's golden grasses. I will look for men to
come loping over the horizon...I will smell the coffee on the stove and I will
listen...listen and wait for the echo of jangling spurs.

© 1998,  Shawn Cameron
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
 

"The Echo of Jangling Spurs" will appear in the forthcoming book by Stuart Watkins, 100 years, 100 poems, 100 poets, to be published in celebration of Arizona's 100th year of Statehood in 2012.
 


 

Cactus, Sand and Stone (or Corrientes and the Cowboy)


© Shawn Cameron; this painting should not be reposted or reproduced without permission; shawncameron.com
"Along the Santa Maria"
 

Each year the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott, Arizona features a contemporary Western artist's work on its Gathering poster.  Their invited poets write poems about the poster painting, and the poems are presented at sessions during the event.

The 17th Annual Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering poster (2004) featured artist Shawn Cameron's painting, "Along the Santa Maria."  The gathering theme was Still Doin' Business.

Shawn Cameron and the gathering organizers gave us permission to share the image, and our feature here includes a selection of the poster poems. We are particularly pleased to have  Shawn Cameron's own poem in that selection, "Cactus, Sand and Stone (or Corrientes and the Cowboy)" and below:

Cactus, Sand and Stone
(or Corrientes and the Cowboy)

There's a wretched, wretched region
Of the cactus, sand and stone,
Where time's an endless season...
And man's spirit's free to room.

Here...the sand is but a whisper
Floating swift across the land
Sharing secrets with saguaros
Who stand sentinel and grand.

It celebrates the barrels
Who bloom through discontent...
For they are born survivors
And stay true to their intent.

In this hot and prickly region
Of the cactus, sand and stone
The eastern sky is warming
As a horseman rides alone.

In the coolness of the hour
He sets hoof upon the ground...
Striding long across a landscape
As far melodies resound.

The mourning dove is cooin'
And the gambel quail now call
To the coyote who is wailing...
At the magic of it all.

The horseman, now, is leaning
As he trots along the trail...
Watching close...and waiting...
For the signs that will not fail.

The branches that are broken...
And the imprints in the sand
Will tell the tale of cattle
Who, here, have taken stand.

Soon...all's quiet in the desert
And the songs of sunrise cease
No sound is heard descending
As the canyon walls increase.

Now...a splash of color casting
In the shadows dark and dim
Below the beaned mesquite trees...
Underneath the canyon's rim.

There...sheltered from sensations
Of a sultry, smoldering sky
Stand the horned and painted legends
Of historic tales gone by.

They are survivors of the desert
A mere mystery of the land,
Whose beauty's as deceptive
As the sparking, sunlit sand.

There's a toughness to the spirit
And yet a sinewed grace
In these cattle of the cowboy
That in dwell this desert place.

The cowboy's found his purpose...
Where the granite spheres are shear
And the water trickles downward
Toward grasses growing near.

In this wanting, writhing region
Of the crucifixion thorn
There are souls that share a secret...
Here a kindred spirit's born.

Corrientes and the cowboy
Rooted deep in mystery lore
Share the secret of the desert
To survive...a season more.

© 2004,  Shawn Cameron
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

 


 

 

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