This week's blog is written by Carl Sandeen of Kristi Usher Fine Art. Carl's wife Kristi is a bronze sculptor of Western themes as well as a two-dimensional artist with oil, pencil and ink. Kristi's work is known for realism and projects her intimate knowledge of horses, dogs and the cowboy way of life.
Building a body of work can be greatly enhanced with a commission, and a big one came to Kristi from the Ellensburg Rodeo Association, one of the nation’s top ten rodeos. Bronze sculp-ture is an expensive medium, so when a call came from Ellensburg, Washington to produce seven rodeo events, one each year for seven years, the answer was a definite “yes.” Kristi would ride in the parade each year, have guaranteed sales, and begin to establish loyal collec-tors in central Washington.
Having raised horses and cowboys while squeezing in time to pursue her passion for art crea-tion, made Kristi a candidate for this coveted commission. Now, years later, in galleries and Western art shows, those rodeo pieces often sit front and center in a body of work encompass-ing the Western way of life.
It has always been fun for Kristi to come up with creative names for her bronzes and to add a touch of poetry to each piece. At shows it’s fun to have a patron stop and read the plastic plac-ard while commenting on her ability to capture the action and fine detail of a rodeo event. Kristi named her bull rider “Double Tough”, and wrote:
The bull is just plain ornery
Like a freight train on a track
He'll unseat anyone who dares
To climb upon his back
The cowboy is determined
His will to ride is strong
He manages to stay aboard
When seconds seem so long
There's eight of 'em to deal with
And when you think they've had enough
They keep on dancin' round and round
This pair is "double tough"
In addition to the bull riding event, Kristi sculpted the saddle bronc “Diggin’ Deep”, the barrel racer “Turn ‘N Burn”, the bareback bronc “Marked Out”, bulldogging “Down ‘N Dirty”, team rop-ing “Ropes & Hopes”, and calf roping “Quick Catch.”