I tend to work into the late hours many nights. Days at the gallery are pretty busy. Phones are ringing, emails are flying, we get to meet great customers, and it is always special when one of the many artists we work with comes in. It's busy, and it's fun. But some things demand quiet, which happens for me in the evenings. And sometimes, it's just a time for reflection and spending time here.

Linda, Rob, Ashley, Patty, and my mom, Mary Jane, always think of new and different ways to display and rotate artwork. Like anyone else who comes into the gallery, it's always fun when I walk in and see something they have done differently.

And the evening is a good time to walk around and enjoy the art. Looking closely at rugs, jewelry, or anything else an artist brought that day is fun. It's amazing what you can see when you have the time to look closely at something beautiful.

So, tonight I was wandering around, and a painting caught my eye. Actually, a drawing in colored pencil. It's a $300 piece. I learned long ago that you never appreciate a work of art based on its price. If it is something you enjoy that gives you pleasure or makes you look at the world differently, it has value.

The drawing I took time with tonight is by an artist named Rick Buoen. I know nothing about him besides that he paints Native American scenes and has worked in the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. This one doesn't have a title. It's a young native woman leaning back against a fence with the wind blowing her long hair forward under her western hat.


It made me think of a young woman confidently and intently watching her man as he prepares to ride in a rodeo event. It reminded me of a book by writer Peter Iverson and photographer Linda MacCannell, Riders of the West. It's a great collection of Native cowboys and their families. Linda spent years collecting these photographs, and it's a true gem of a book. The Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association is full of top-notch talent.


The woman's gaze is intent, and the wind is not distracting her. Rodeos are dangerous, but she has confidence in him. If he stays on that horse for eight seconds, they will take home a check and probably stop at a restaurant for dinner. I kept thinking that her demeanor will change when they open the chute.

And that's the great thing about a good piece of art. You get to make up your own story about it. Your experience leads you down an entirely different road than the artist.

I like this painting, and while I'd like to meet Rick Buoen, it's not essential. With this understated piece, he captured a moment. I have walked by that painting many times and not taken the time to really look at it.

That's one reason I like staying late at the gallery!

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