H.R. KAISER

ARTIST STATEMENT

"Sculpting is revitalizing and rebalancing for me and has made a vast change in how I experience life. I see and sense strength in spirit and want to capture that in my work to share with others. This is a second career for me and I am fortunate to have a strong support system that has allowed me to push the refresh button on the story of my life and gain a stronger focus on what matters and why.  It is soul nourishing and energizing.

 

In broad strokes, with my current focus on the iconic cowboy of our past, I envision what it might have been like right here in Oklahoma, home to several historic cattle trails, including the famous Chisholm Trail. I often find myself looking across the plains to see where the drovers might have made camp and bed down the herd for the night.

 

My fundamental inspiration springs from the people and places that surround me. My goal is to capture the layers of attitude, emotion and personality of cowboys in everyday life and translate that into a visual feast  that appeals on a visceral level.

 

I continue to study through intensive professional workshops and have learned to root out strong design elements, look for patterns of dark and light, shadow and form and how the lines intersect.  I am committed to artistic excellence and lifelong improvement, to never settle, never be content with my work as there is always a higher peak to reach." ~H.R. Kaiser

 
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The Trail Drover Series

Cattle drives were a major economic activity in the American west, particularly between 1866 and 1886, when 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to railheads in Kansas for shipments to stockyards in Chicago and points east. The long distances covered, the need for periodic rests by riders and animals, and the establishment of railheads led to the development of "cow towns" across the American West

 

The typical drive comprised 1,500–2,500 head of cattle. The typical outfit consisted of a “Trail Boss”, (perhaps the owner), from ten to fifteen hands, each of whom had a string of from five to ten horses; a “Horse Wrangler” who handled the horses; and a cook, who drove the chuck wagon. The wagon carried the bedrolls; tents were considered excess luxury. The men drove and grazed the cattle most of the day, herding them by relays at night. Ten or twelve miles was considered a good day's drive, as the cattle had to thrive on the route. They ate grass; the men had bread, meat, beans with bacon, and coffee. Wages were about $40 a month, paid when the herd was sold.

 

During three decades the “Trail Drovers” had moved over 20 million cattle and one million range horses, stamped the entire West with its character, given economic and personality prestige to Texas, made the longhorn historic, glorified the cowboy over the globe, and endowed America with its most romantic tradition relating to any occupation.

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