Living in Wichita Falls, Texas, artist Robert Dove finds inspiration in the natural world around him. Among his subjects are the beautiful sunsets and lands, as well as horses and cowboys that populate the region in which he lives. His work is impressionistic in style where the brushstrokes are applied with ease, which he finds to allow the canvas to breathe.
“Capturing the movement often inspires me to mix texture with light and dark color values,” says Dove. “I am often deeply engrossed in the painting that I am working on.” Each work he creates is referential, rather than photographic, where he will use his knowledge of horses and ranching life as a starting point.
For instance, his painting Neck n Neck is a scene inspired by one he often witnesses on his own farm. “I have several horses that often get into a race with each other, especially when they feel fresh in the cool mornings,” Dove describes. Another of his pieces, Breaking Loose, depicts the common rodeo theme of a bucking bronco that came about from a friend’s experience.
Dove shares, “It started with a friend of mine that always bragged about how good his horse was and how much money he won in ranch sorting. Well, we were warming our horses up before a competition and his horse broke loose and became unglued. The horse bucked for a solid five minutes and of course my friend landed on his back, and the horse kept on bucking.”
He also will paint scenes using friends and his horses as models, to create images of the Old West. Mystic Creek is an example. “The horse in the painting is actually one of my horses. Her name is Star Bells,” Dove says. “The Indian is a friend of mine who is full-blooded Cherokee. His name is Small Bull. I often use him and my horses as models in my paintings.”
Two of Dove’s paintings have been accepted into the Red River Valley Museum’s 17th International Juried Art Show that kicks off with a preview party on June 1. The show, which features the work of 27 artists from six states, runs through July 27.
Breaking Loose, oil on canvas, 48 x 36"