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Welcome to Rogues Gallery Hulett Wyoming

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"Coronato was keen to chronicle the cowboy culture accurately and took a job ranching as a result. Coronato's the unofficial Leonardo da Vinci of ranching life and an astute observer of the culture."                         

                     
                                       Mark Ellwood New York post




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 I live in Garrison, ND. I ventured on your web site today, and might I say what a thrill. Mr. Coronato's art work has captured the "true value" of the prairie. However; the endearing, heartfelt synopsis pertaining to each image, projected his dearest heart and true romantic spirit. And yes...I feel you have lived the life, smelled the cold cactus. Watched the rising sun on a crisp Autumn Day.
And then he captured the spirit and traced it from his heart, through his hands, through his brush...onto paper.
I live on the wild beautiful, windy prairie. The freedom of the prairie is like no other place.
Mr. Coronato's images are very exciting. They are beautiful, and my heart is happier today learning something new.
 Thank you
Hi-Noon






Pittura Di Strati Oil and Acrylic

Watch a short video to show how the Pittura di strati
 Oil and Acrylic multiples are created

NEW............VIDEO..............NEW




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(New) Pittura di strati Oil and Acrylic







SHA'BING !!






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2014 Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede Rodeo Poster

Original Pittura Di Strati Oil and Acrylic on board


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2014 Rodeo poster MILES CITY BUCKING HORSE SALE

Original Pittura Di strati Oil and Acrylic on Board

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2012 Rodeo Poster DEADWOOD


 The 2012 Rodeo Poster  (#5 in the Bob Coronato Rodeo Poster Series)

Pittura Di Strati Oil/ Acrylic on wood board

 ****available  at auction (date to be released)











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2011 Blach Hills Round Up Rodeo poster

Original Pittura Di Strati  oil / Acrylic on  Wood Board





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Pittura di strati Oil and Acrylic

Artist  Bob Coronato
Size    24  x  59   7/8
Medium:  Pittura di strati  Oil and Acrylic

 series on wood panels
(between 1 and 15 originals)


I created this Painting using a technique known as Pittura di strati . As I start, the board is covered and then textured with thick gesso. Multiple layers of acrylic paint are applied, and on top of the acrylic, silk screened line work. Layers of translucent oil paint are slowly built up one layer at a time. Oil Paint has the ability to create fine glazes, transparent but slow to dry.  As each layer builds up, they create effects of light and texture not possible with other painting techniques. This glazing technique is very similar to that of the artists of the Italian Renaissance, giving the paint a luminous quality that is not possible any other way.

Being an intaglio print maker and an oil painter for many years, I have been working on combining the two mediums for nearly 8 years. The Pittura di strati medium of silkscreen, oil and acrylic, is the only way to achieve the effect that I was looking for.  I wanted to explore the age old tradition of silk-screen with the cutting edge techniques that are currently available, along with the drawing and imagery from my etchings. By layering  translucent glazes of color in oil, I was able to get a look that I was searching for.  
 
Andy Warhol used a similar but more crude technique in the 1960's to create mixed media work that was also a multiple using Silkscreen.  Today the end results can be much more refined then at that time. As I combine the painting mediums and the dozens of translucent layers of oil paint, the pittura di strati  technique refines the work to a unique style of painting never done previously. Because of all the variables in the layering, glazing and varnishing, each painting in the series is unique and can vary in color, texture, etc.  Similar to the bronze method of producing art, the end result is the original intention of the artist, and all the steps through the process, are the only way to get to the end finished piece.

I will only paint a few of each image and no more than 15 will be done.


by Artist Bob Coronato








Size of the Piece with frame








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2010 Sheridan Wyo Rodeo Poster

Original Pittura Di strati Oil / Acrylic on Wood Board






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Pittura Di Strati Oil and Acrylic


Title " Original for the Sheridan/Wyo Rodeo Poster"
Artist  Bob Coronato
Size    24 3/4 x  59   7/8
Medium:  Pittura di strati  Oil and Acrylic

 series on wood panels
(between 1 and 15 originals)

About the poster:
by Artist Bob Coronato

World Championship Indian Relay Races

The grandstands at Sheridan’s WYO rodeo fill early, long before regular rodeo events begin, welcoming a crowd that’s gathered to watch one of the wildest, most colorful events in all of equine sports. A  favorite at powwows and Indian rodeos, the sport of Indian relay racing is a crowd-pleasing spectacle that involves expert horsemanship, teamwork, and the potential for disaster at every turn. The excitement mounts in the stands as the begging of the Sheridan/Wyo rodeo begins, because the first event and crowd favorite is the  World champion Indian Relay. Newcomers to this rodeo quickly find themselves caught up in the moment, and the Indian riders and family are excited for the honors won during this race and a hefty payout of 25,000. Indians from all over squash themselves up against the rails to get a close view of the race, and cheer on the riders.

The rules of Indian relay racing, are generally simple, All races are ridden bareback, and teams are composed of four people and three horses. Team members are usually all from the same reservation, and often are members of the same family. Any breed of horse may be entered into the race, years ago saddle horses were raced, but thoroughbreds are todays most common breed. Many are retired racehorses from the horse racing industry. Only one team member competes as jockey, riding all three horses in succession. Sheridan/Wyo is the only relay thats called traditional, because all the riders wear traditional, or as close as they can, traditional native dress. Another team member serves as the “mugger,” catching each finishing horse as the jockey dismounts. The other two team members are “holders” who try to contain and quiet the second and third horses along the arena rail until it’s time for their turn to race.
John Mark Skunkcap from Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Reservation, one of the jockeys, is dressed in beaded buckskin moccasins and a buckskin breechcloth, with his forehead painted red and a porcupine roach atop his head. As part of the Mountain Timber team, each horse is adorned with hands prints, circles, or lightning bolts painted on its legs and bodies in the colors of  there team. Ashton Old Coyote from the Crow reservation, and a long line of warriors, is also a crowd favorite with lines of paint going down his face and long traditional Crow braids. They are just a few of the many others that are from long lines of warriors and amazing horsemen. All this history lends to the greatest event of horsemanship I have ever seen. each year I drive two hours just to go to the race,…I turn around and go home never bothering to see the rest of the rodeo. I drive back every day four four days. I have never bothered to stay for the rest of the rodeo, lets face it, I have seen a 1000 bucking horses, and seen hundreds of guys throw a rope,…but you have never seen anything like this!

The introduction by Kennard Real Bird from Crow, is worth the drive. It is usually full of jokes, history lessons on how the Indians beat Gen Custer real bad, just down the road and he usually throws in a few off color remarks just for fun. The crowd loves it and the riders get excited. Kennard starts off  " This is a bunch of wild Indians,…wilder than a bunch of drunk irish white people in a bar in Boston" At a gunshot each jockey leaps aboard his horse and races off past teepees that line the track. A plume of dust rises in their wake. The excitement ramps up  as contestants complete the first lap, and by crossing the starting point, leap to the ground, and attempt a quick leap aboard their second horse.  Some riders just jump in the air from one horse on to the back of there next mount. As the horses rears up on his hind legs, with a jump he is off down the track.  The second and third horses are no longer standing quietly, but jumping and rearing from the excitement and noise around them. Add to all this excitement, the unsuccessful transfers—riders sprawled face down in the dirt of the track or clinging to the side of a horse in a struggle to stay aboard—and it’s easy to see why Indian relay racing is the sheridan / Wyo crowd pleaser and my personal favorite all time event.

In 1931, the small town of Sheridan, was so quiet you could “shoot a shotgun down Main Street and have no fear of injuring anyone.” A group of local citizens wanted to do something about the situation and decided to put on a rodeo. Since then,… “There’s been a tremendous reception to Indian relay racing,” says Cynde Georgen, Superintendent of the Trail’s End State Historic Site in Sheridan. “Back in the 1920s they had the Indian relay races here and everybody would flock to town for the races. Since they started having them again at the Sheridan WYO Rodeo, it has really revitalized the rodeo.” One spectator in Sheridan observed that Indian relay races have boosted local rodeo attendance, having become “the biggest draw for the rodeo.” And what’s more American than cowboys and Indians?

I decided to paint the rodeo poster for the 2011 Sheridan/Wyo rodeo and as I sat at the trading post of Putt Thompson overlooking Crow, I sketched out exactly what it was going to look like.
I spent 7 years prior, trying to get just the right three riders that would describe best, the event.  I went there every year until I had a good idea what it should look like.  I also felt it was a great time to put a Indian subject as the main event on a rodeo poster. I felt this would be a real eye grabbing subject and was after all the only reason I drove two hours just to see the race. I was guessing others were as well.

While the exact origins of Indian relay races are blurred by time, Floyd Osborn, a former jockey who is part of a family with a long history of racing horses, says the practice of riding horses in relay sequence may have originated as a way of quickly getting  messages of approaching enemies back to tribal leaders. The earliest competitions are believed to date from early rendezvous involving Indians and mountain men in such places as the Green River and Wind River in Wyoming. Osborn, who was born at Fort Washakie on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming and grew up on Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Reservation, is the great-grandson of an Englishman who imported horses from Great Britain. Some of that bloodline remains in Osborn’s string of horses today, and Osborn’s family was among the first to use thoroughbreds in relay racing. He’s seen a number of changes over the years. “It’s a lot faster,” he says about racing today. “The high-powered horses we have now come right off race professional race tracks.

Indian relay racing is a young man’s sport, its fast and dangerous. Tone  of the mountain Timber team, recently turned the riding over to his own son, John Mark Skunkcap. He raced in Sheridan with nine stitches in his leg from an earlier race, and still carries scars after getting rubbed on the rail in Pocatello a couple of years ago. “The biggest problems usually occur during exchanges when you’re going out and someone else is coming in,” Tone is the team leader and  paints John Mark’s face in preparation for racing events. He also runs practices when the team isn’t competing. “Every day we ride our horses in our field or take them to the track, We practice coming in on them and taking them around the track.” The routine also involves work on jumping off, jumping on, and other maneuvers." Tone says he feels fortunate to have raced for quite a number of years with no broken bones, although he admits to some pretty good bruises.

Injuries do occur and, as in rodeo, the possibility of a wreck adds to the intensity level. One 16-year-old jockey did suffer a broken ankle during the Sheridan rodeo last summer when a horse reared over backward and fell on him. Another memorable event for me was when a rider got knocked unconscious and was amid the running horses as Kennard Real Bird held the microphone, and loudly said, don't worry about that warrior, he's a tough Indian and has a little extra padding,…from sitt'n around all winter on the sofa eating cheese doodles and watching pornographic dvd's" The crowd hurled a belly laugh, as the rider laid face down knocked out. As he quickly gets dragged off the area floor by a medic crew, fans are witness to a controlled chaos of horses barreling past each other and weaving in and out with riders leaping on and off horses bareback, all amid the calamity, that goes with having 21 horses and 28 team members all on the same track.

Historically many of the Plains People considered the horse an extension of the warrior himself, and showed this by decorating the horse with medicines and visionary paint markings. This relation between man and horse was so closely connected that the protective paint marks were often shared by the horse, the warrior and his shield, and his lodge. Horse medicines could even be used as war charms. Symbols of lightning were painted so others could see and fear that the warrior had a vision that he had been given lightning power.

On the high Plains hail makes every thing cower in the wake of the storm. In Wyoming and South Dakota, summer thunder storms will often drop golf ball to baseball size hail putting fear in everyone in its path. The early people of the high plains understood the fear this had in the mind of an enemy and horses were often painted with hail or lightning.
A friend of mine Mike Cowdrey recently wrote in the book Native American Horse Masks:
"the painting and decoration of a horse shamanically masked a prey animal into a predator and making it an inviolate, symbolic link between warrior and cosmos. Imbued with magic, the warriors steed now rode with the power of thunder, and lightning. The visionary power of the shaman transformed a beast of burden into a lethal engine of war."

Similar to years ago, the people of the Northern Plains Nations still paint there horses on special occasions with the same symbols passed down by there ancestors.
Each Summer, in Wyoming, the Indian people paint there horses during the World Championship Relay races. Symbols of power are used on there "war ponies" in the race. Every year during the Indian relay races, a holy man or elder will paint a riders horse with marks of power and for others to fear. Today, just as years ago, the horse and rider are painted with the same marks. Parallel lines for coupe marks, dots for hail, a circle around the eye to improve the animals vision, and often large zigzags for lightning.
The races are spectacular demonstrations of the best horsemanship in the world.  The bareback warriors grasp to there horses, in a race for honor, in a spectacle like few have seen. My jaw is agape every year I go.
While filled with the danger inherent in any Indian relay event, Indian relay racing keeps alive something less dramatic but no less vital—a direct link to Native American traditions and heritage, and an important point of connection among families.


Bob Coronato
All Rights Reserved to the Artist




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Oil on Canvas





Oil on Canvas
Size 20 3/4  X  32   13 /16

Title
Crow Fair Dance- Through- Camp 2011
"Tonight the sky over the Little Big Horn tells us,…tomorrow will be a good day"
a'hpaaitche  (beautiful evening)






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Medium Oil on Canvas

Size 46 3/8 X 35 5/8

Title "When this weather quits,... You can stiff'n your hat back up with sugar water,...

n' hell,... If yer ever hard up for food,... You can eat the som-bitch!"


Its not the old west of the 1890's, but its Crook County Wyoming in the early 1990's. This part of the country is like walking into the old west. The people and the ways of the area, are very much the same as they always were. I was drawn to the area because I wanted to see the frontier the way it was, and this is the closest you can get. The big towns are hundreds of miles apart and the little towns are the glue that holds the frontier together. The brandings are still a community effort and the ranchers still work the same as they did 100 years ago. I remember showing up in Wyoming as early in the spring as possible. In the community around Devils Tower, the first branding of the year is usually the IPY ranch. The I.P.Y. brands on, or about, the first week of May depending on the weather. The branding is the social event among the community. Its a time that everyone can get together after a hard winter, visit with one another and talk about the year to come. Conversations vary about cows, grass, wrecks that happened in the past, and when the ranch plans to trail the herd. There is a feeling of excitement because there is always a BBQ after the branding work is done. The branding seems to get the winter gloom over, and as the land gets reborn, everyone starts looking forward to the summer.

I had spent a lot of time working on the ranch because the foreman liked to do things the traditional way. I always looked for the ranches that still roped and dragged the calves at brandings, took pride in their work, and had a history with the land. Crook county has a rich history, with all the mak'ns of a great western. From the o'l Texas Trail days up to the recent times holding on to there past.


I got up around 4 am to get all my belongings ready for the day. I was living above the old Stockman saddlery in Hulett Wyo. I love this old building with the stairs that are so old and worn out they slope in the middle. With my coffee in hand, I loaded my saddle, chaps, and slicker into my outfit. The air was frosty, and it was still dark out as I rolled down the highway towards Devils Tower. I remember feeling sore from gathering the cows just the day before. We gathered and trailed them to the part of the ranch they would spend most of the spring. As I Pulled into the ranch, the healers all start barking letting the ranch know I'm here. George White, the ranch foreman offered me a cup of coffee and a biscuit. George had always taken me in, like one of his own kids, making sure I didn't get killed, and teaching me about the ranch. He used to drag me all over N.E. Wyoming to every branding, gathering or trail'n, showing me some great countryside and meeting some really great folks. This cold gray May morning, we had to saddle up pretty quick, get all the cows gathered and trail them to Weaver Canyon. As we sat there mounted , the sun was rising, the horses were coughing out the morning moisture and no one really said too much. George is not one to sit around too long, so we set out. The ranch is about one of the prettiest settings, with high red cliffs, dotted with Ponderosa pines and the Belle Fouche river running right through it. The south part of the ranch circles right up to the back of Devils Tower, the first national monument.

It was on and off with a slight rain, but it was suppose to clear up. I noticed one of the other guys (Tom Vore) was not himself, he leaned a little "off" as he rode but I did not pay much attention. We had gathered all the cows and pinched them in the back of this canyon called "Weaver Canyon". Two riders were roping and dragging the calves, out one by one for branding, but as usual in early May on the high plains, the weather was unpredictable. This time, it was dreary and spotty with rain, and very misty as the cows were bunched up. Every time it rained we had to stop to wait for the calves to dry off. The ranch foreman hoped that the day and all the volunteer help was not wasted by the weather, so we tried to get them done as soon as possible.

Jess Hoese and Tom Vore were roping that day. I remember Tom ridding out to the herd, the cows and calves were all bunched up in the canyon, and as he road up to get another calf, the fog was so thick that he disappeared into the fog. You could here all the cows bellowing and the cows all calling out to the young, but not see the herd. before too long, out of the mist, Tom would ride out with another calf. Because most of his cloths were worn and used hard, he seemed to be riding, right out of the past as he came through the mist. The fog, all the horses, the cows and the setting, along with the sereal lighting, it was hard not to conjure up images about days gone by, and realize this was a scene that one day it too, would disapear into the past.

I found out from some of the talk at the branding why Tom was not feeling very well. Tom had just recently driven himself to the hospital to get a collapsed lung repaired, and came out to help brand anyway. He was helping rope and drag calves, and then planned to leave after the work was over. He was headed to Canada to go bear hunting. I remember some of the people commenting we may never see him again. It was not the best weather to "heal up", after a lung had collapsed. Tom was never one to let that stop him from an honest days work. I remember that he told me he had to get his lung "sewed to his gut" so it would quit collapsing, it wasn't the first time.

Crook county has always been host to some of the toughest characters. They seem to be born out of that land. The country is rough and the weather is hard, it tends to attract the type of character the west was famous for. The people who thrive in this part of the country are the hard working, and the tough.


The ranches these days are disappearing, It is sad as the ranches disappear, the cowboys one by one also disappear.

As the land gets developed, the cowboy lifestyle is fading fast. I was lucky to get a chance to not only see it at the end, but be a part. It was then and it still is today, a pleasure to know this part of the country. From the days of living on an old mattress, on the floor of that old saddle shop, to trailing cows, and mak'n friends it has been a great ride.

All rights reserved to the artist

Bob Coronato

















Oil on Canvas








































Oil On Canvas
32 X 42 1/4

Title " the horse wrangler gather'd the morning mounts:

"one that had'n lived the life... couldn't paint a picture to please the eye of one that had" 


The setting again, is in N. E. Wyoming on the border of Montana. Very rough country but in sections very scenic. I was part of a Brand crew in the spring of 2000, That went out for two weeks.

We were traveling over three counties, branding 15 different ranches. The crew was gathering and branding 150 - 200 calves , twice a day. Out in these parts, they have it figured that a brand crew with 15-20 guys a chuck wagon, ranch wagon, tents and bedrolls, saves not only a lot of money, but wear and tear on trucks, trailers and the crew. We had to cover such large distances we could travel better with the wagon, and on horseback, than any other way.

The Chuck wagon was an old 1880's wagon with wood wheels and local brands burnt in the sides. The chuck box was bright red and the only thing that reminded you of what year it was, was the orange igloo water cooler on the side. We traveled all day to get to camp, with the Chuck Wagon in the lead followed buy the ranch wagon, an old 1890's Green Army surplus wagon, hauling bed rolls and tents. The bed roll wagon was followed by the horse wranglers and crew with about 20-30 head of horses. We traveled like this when we broke camp , and moved every three or so days.

Every morning the horse wrangler rode out in the darkness before the sun came up, to gather the horses. He had to find them, tracking them were ever they wandered that night. We just set them free in the evening to let them find water and grass. The crew got up after he went out, breakfast was waiting by the chuck wagon, and by the time the sun was breaking the horizon, the crew gathered around the rope corral, to wait for the horses. The boss would rope out your mount for the day, once they came in.

I smiled to myself, thinking of how this seemed so unreal for the time, and how it was exactly like the books I used to read. The time stood still for a few moments as the whole crew seemed to realize this was special, this was rare, and it was a scene that was just about played out in history. Sometimes at night they would talk about how, some day no one would run the wagon crew any more and this tradition would be just memories for the ones who were there and just photos of the past to others. The close of these great scenes is upon us, and as I stood there with my saddle over my shoulder waiting for the horses, I could hear the ground start to shake. As the wrangler drove them over the hill in the corral, I knew a long day was about to begin,... But I couldn't wait, it was like being part of a special history.

Bob Coronato








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Oil on Canvas























Oil On Canvas

Size 16 3/4 X 34 3/8

Artist Bob Coronato 2010

Title "An unhurried sense of time,... is in itself a form of wealth"


Back in the early 1990's I was working on the IPY ranch in North East Wyoming just outside Devils Tower national Monument. I was sleeping above the "Stockman" mercantile and saddlery in Hulett and had a small studio upstairs. I would get up, grab my rig and drag it down the worn out old wood stairs, and throw it in the back of my outfit. It was cold, dark and the little town of 429 people was completely still. As my frosty breath steamed up my windows, I would drive out to the ranch around 4:30 am.

George the foreman of the ranch would pick out my mount with a stern low voice "Bob, yer ride'n fox". I would toss a rope around him, throw on my high back, slick fork loop seat, and load up in the trailer. We usually drank some hot coffee with the heater blaring out of the dash of his truck, as we drove 1/2 hour out to where we would start gathering from. Most hands would grab a pinch of snoose for the gums, and start to wake up. We would meet several other hands out at a point, mount up and start to ride before sun up.

Nothing is better than the smell of the dew covered sage, as the cattle kick up the grass. As the first light of morning is just about to peak across the horizon, I'm mounted on a good horse and gathering cows. Days like this were exactly what I was dreaming of as kid growing up back east, and now the real world seemed to be 100 years away. It was like going back in time, and somehow the colors, vivid smells and epic vastness of the landscape, made me truly understand the cowboy life. I have always felt passionately that you have to trail , brand and gather cattle, and "live the life" if you wanted to "paint the life". This was always on my mind as I watched the landscape unfold each time we gathered and trailed cattle.

In this untouched part of the country, its famous for "weather" that is completely unpredictable. It can ran, snow and then get real hot all within a average spring day. Most guys prepare for the worst and shed cloths as the day goes on. We would gather hundreds of cows and calves, box em into a canyon and brand them. Usually the next day or so, we trailed em out to there summer pasture. Storms blew in and out, the wind blew cold and then the sun would warm the land. You can almost feel the clouds move, as they loomed overhead. It would get cold in a split second every time one blew by, and then warm up instantly, as they parted.

On one particular May afternoon, as the day neared its end, the sky opened up into a truly awesome repose. As the cows trodded along, and the rays of sun cascaded down on the prairie, and it seemed to me everyone was thinking that this was what we all dreamed of when we came to this cowboy life. I remember stormy saying with a chuckle "I thought God was come'n to visit us!"

Even the saltiest and weathered old time hands had to take pause and enjoy this moment of beauty that made today, one of the good 'ol days of tomorrow.

 

 

Bob Coronato 2010






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Oil on Canvas




















































Medium Oil On Canvas

Title "Today we will look our best,...

And you will take me where I want to go,...

Tomorrow they will tell stories of our deeds!"

Size 29 1 / 8 X 29 1 / 8



While Listening to Russell Means reading a passage of Chief Seattle's 1854 speech, I felt it described the past and current situation of the Plains Indians living in the area that I live. Specifically the Sioux near the Black Hills, and the surrounding area. The words in his speech that were at one time common to read because of there poetic nature, were new to me. As I heard Russell read his speech they seemed to really describe what I feel as I travel and live in the country around the Black Hills, Pine Ridge and all the way to Crow Agency.

"...and when the last red man shall have perished from the earth

and his memory among white men shall have become a myth,

these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe,

and your children's children shall think of themselves alone in a

field, the store, a shop, upon the highway,

or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone"

Chief Seattle 1854



Artist Tom Waugh has spent 15 years dragging me all over the Black Hills, teaching me about the Native Americans past and present history. While driving all through the Hills, and pointing out local historical places, (and a few saloons,) imparting to me, the history, as well as his memories of living in the High Plains. Tom and I have built and run a Native American museum in the Black Hills, and through the experience of this, I drew the image for the painting.

the painting is based on a etching I created for a book the american indian horse masks. The horse mask is a five century old tradition introduced to the native americans with the early spanish horses. The native americans soon adopted the adornment as a symbolic armor.

the masks were created through visions and decorated with motifs of hail, thunder, and lightning. the symbolic armor adorned with these symbols of power could transform the two into great warriors with extraordinary abilities, and possibly carry the horse and rider between the two worlds, where bullets and arrows could not hurt them.

the horse with its advantages for travel and warfare influenced every facet of the plains indians lives. The horse itself has become a icon of the plains people and is exalted in song, myth, and their art. A horse is dressed for war as well as ceremony and is painted and adorned with images of power. Even today the horses are painted with these same symbols at the indian relay races.

the zig zag lines are lightning and the dots are hail. the u shape marks are hors stealing or horse raid marks. (used alot at the relay races)

Young warriors can win high honors amongst his people by winning at these races.

"The relay races are the most amazing examples of horsemanship, while riding bareback I have ever seen, you cannot describe it until you see it." After spending years watching these races, and realizing the horse culture is very much the same today as it was in the past. I came up with the title, and through the experience of this, I drew the image for the painting."


 

All Rights reserved to artist

Bob coronato

 







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Oil on Canvas

















































































.....................................................title:

Russell Means

Lakota name: Oyate Wacinyapi "Works for the people"

"An upside down flag is an international signal of distress... now we, the Indian nations, are in distress. I will wear this flag upside down as long as my people are in distress!" R. Means

by Bob Coronato

size 36 5/8 74 1/4

Oil on Canvas


I have been researching and planning this painting for over 10 years. I First heard about Russell Means when I moved into the Black Hills and learned how much controversy there was around him in the "Hills". There were some that viewed him negatively and there were those that held him as a hero. I wanted to learn more for myself because it was a dramatic chapter in the history of the west that took place in my lifetime. With the rise of AIM, the American Indian movement, was critical in changing the lives of many. The armed Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973, was truly the last of the Indian Wars, and Russell and several hundred others along with him, fought the Government in a armed stand off, prepared to die as free people, just as there ancestors had.

I was inspired 15 years ago by my best friend, and artist Tom Waugh, who talked about Russell Means, Dennis Banks, The yellow Thunder case and all the different American Indian Movement activities. Tom was closely related to that time because he was married at the time to a woman that was Sioux and involved with AIM, and he was the chief of police at Hot Springs at the time of AIMs rise. He had valuable insights into both sides of the conflicts, and protests. Tom was First law enforcement on the scene of the federal Agents murder, and fired upon at Jumping Bulls Camp. Tom boxed, partied, and lived with AIM members and others that were closely related to the people involved with wounded knee 2. This first hand resource was inspiring to me, and He encouraged me to follow my heart, research the subject and paint about that time. As I traveled with him through different saloons in the Black Hills, heard the stories, met the people involved, I wanted to record in paint some of the leaders of this movement.

I began to research in-depth the entire AIM movement, I really wanted to meet Russell Means and paint his portrait. I didn't want to paint him as an "Pop Icon" like Andy Warhol, but as a revolutionary and important leader of his people, in a traditionl portrait.

Tom and I have an American Indian Museum in Hulett Wyoming, and we started a section in our museum dedicated to AIM. As I searched out Artifacts from the time, and followed the path to finding things from the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973, I met and talked to lots of the individuals involved on both the Feds side and AIM. eventually AIM members came in to see it and shared there thoughts. It created quite a stir, and evoked many passionate conversations pro and con, depending on the person. This was very valuable in understanding the time, the struggle and what changes were made.

Russell Means as well as others in the movement, stood up for unfair racism, and abuses against Indians and made definitive stands against the tierney of the cops, government, racist judges and citizens who felt that Indians were second class. Meeting the people involved gave me a very clear view of how the events of the 70's and the American Indian Movement had a very deserved place in history of the West. Russell Means is one of a group of people who really changed the way American Indians are treated.

The Black Hills of SD/Wyo is the heart of the Lakota lands, their "sacred lands" and living there in a time that is only 100 + years after it was Indian only, gives me a very clear picture of what developments the last 100 years brought. Wounded knee in 1890, is memories of the grandparents of the people currently living on pine ridge. The stories and wounds are still felt. Even as an outsider, I run into people that share stories and have strong feelings about the entire mishandling of the Indian People.

I was very persistent, and passionate about researching and digging for info, even going to remote places in the Hills to find people involved, meet with anyone that had an opinion about what transpired and even getting my nose broke around 2008. I remember one time in 2007 breaking a guys nose in the Ponderosa Saloon because I was talking to some people about AIM and how I was very excited because I just found a 30-30 carbine used at wounded knee 1973 and how I would incorporate it in a painting. I bought the gun from a family member of the owners of the wounded knee trading post that got burned down buy AIM, and I dug it out of a trunk, in a old barn, still with the FBI tags on it from the court case. Apparently the subject is still touchy and some cowboy didn't think it was something to paint about and away we went.

If Russell was not completely appreciated in this era because the fresh feelings of those hurt by the armed rise of AIM, surely, history would hold him in high regard.

I finally tracked down Russell and shared in an e mail my desire to paint him in a traditional manner as a important historical figure. It took several years, but eventually I got an invite to come to his house and prepare for a portrait. I had to drive to his house on Pine Ridge. We talked for a few hours about politics, reservation life, and what kind of thoughts that I had for the portrait. Russell seemed worried that I wanted to put him in a war bonnet and paint him as if he was living 100 years ago. I explained how I would use imagery that was very specific to "his time." He said to me "Im a late 20th century Indian" and "that's how I want to be portrayed." I was on the same page, and incorporated the traditional vest, hair pipe choker and the watch as the description of his time. Russell grew up in a time when as a kid, they still used horse and wagons on the reservation, (he was born 1939) elders who remembered the old ways were still alive, and he had seen tremendous change from the time of the elders, to the current. He was sending a tweet out on his twitter page as we talked. He is in a Limbo of those that grew up in a time where few traditional practices were left because of the governments attempts to squelch a people and a time where some had the desire to return to the some more traditional ways. The watch and tee shirt describe how Indians are not the idea of old Hollywood westerns or to be thought of as "in the past" but a people very much of today, and with a rich history.


The L.A. Times referred to Russell Means as the most important American Indian since Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. If your not familiar with all the things he helped change along with the other members of AIM, I highly recommend his Autobiography Where White men fear to tread. He inspired and lead people to stand up be proud to be Indian, and fought for the rights of All Indian people. After years of fighting the uphill battle of many of the injustices, and failures of the U.S. government, AIM made some strong headway to improving how Indian people are treated today. His Life is one of sacrifice, giving up freedom, personal relationships, family and selflessly fight for the rights of Indian people. although the situation still needs to be improved His efforts have had great impact for posative change.

In 1972 in Gordon Nebraska, Russell remembered how in high school he had done a report that described how the upside down flag was used by the navy as a distress signal, and in a AIM protest he decided to wear it and hang all the flags in town upside down, as AIM went there to protest the miss-handleing of the murder of an Indian, where the police were going to mearly slap the wrist of the white boy that killed him. This upside down flag left such an impression it soon became a symbol of AIM and was used everywhere they went. I said to Russell "you got approached by a woman that thought it was anti government and you explained how it was a signal of distress and that your people were in distress" I asked how he felt today.....

He looked out the window of his house at Porcupine and with a saddend voice said, "my people are still suffering." I asked if he would wear the flag for the portrait, and he agreed.

The failures of the US government have not been fully addressed or repaired, but Aim, Russell means, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt and many others started many policy's that have lead to more freedoms and sovereignty for Indian nations around the country. AIM demanded that the Us government honor, and live up to its own laws, treaties and agreements with its people.

The ideas of AIM were critical in changing the oppressive ways that were excepted in the early 1900's up until the 1970's. Russell and Aim fought then and he fights today for the government to allow the Indian people to be "free and independant, free to be responsible"

In the words of Chief Joseph, the credo of the American Indian Movement and words held dear to Russell Means,... Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade were I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk , think and act for myself--- and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.

It was a highlight in my life to meet, become friends with and paint one of a few revolutionaries in US history. A true icon and leader Russell means is a person that history will hold in high regard.

All Rights Reserved to the Artist

Bob Coronato
 
 














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"I believe this is a very important painting. Means himself is controversial but I believe the painting is at a level far beyond the individual, it represents Indian pride, Indian rights as well as 20th Century American history.The paintings spectacular."


 
                             Roger Brooks






"The Russell Means portrait is a national treasure,...I hope to see it in person someday"

                         Chris Buys






Sept 9 2012

What a treasure your shop is for the town of Hullett!!!  I was also so inspired by the story of Mr. Means that I recently found a copy of his book and have sent for it and am waiting, not so patiently, to read it.  I have to say the painting you did of Mr. Means was something I never expected to see while on holidays and again I was very touched by it.  While viewing it (in absolute awe I might add) I almost expected Mr. Means to walk out of the frame and begin telling his story and his people's story.  I can't believe the detail you have captured.

J. Olver
Ninette, MB  Canada





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Oil on Canvas



































Title          "Where does a cowboy go,... when there's no more range left to ride"

Oil on canvas

size 35 1/8 X 59 1 /8

The area is southeast Montana and the northeast Wyoming border. The area is one of my favorite places because its wide open, rough and windy. It is relatively unchanged since the days of the old west and great cowboy country. The grass is good, the country goes from plains to badlands and the water is akali in many places. If your searching for the "Old West" its still here! There is only a one room school house and a Saloon in hundreds of square miles of open country. There is just a handful of rugged people in this last holdout of frontier.

I wound up on a brand wagon crew, working for a couple weeks going from ranch to ranch gathering and branding in the spring of 2000. We had a 1880's chuck wagon, 1880's bed roll wagon, 10 or so hands and a remuda of horses. Gathering 10,000 acres at a time branding 300 cows a day for about two weeks. we covered two states and three counties.

Camp moved every few days, from open plains to hill country to badlands. It was a once in a lifetime glimpse into life on the trail and old time cow work.


I was driving to the Cowboy Back Bar in Belle Fourche South Dakota about 100 miles away on a round about way to the hospital. I was driving one of the hands who broke his arm to get "fixed." We had a moment to reflect on the brand crew and how few there are that still use a brand wagon. there is only a handful left in the whole country. The wagon was for economy, not for show. They had it figured that they saved 900 bucks a day by not tearing up everones outfits and tires and gas, by just using a crew that camped and moved camp from ranch to ranch. Casy said as we drove he was glad I got a chance to be part of the crew and see it, because he had a feeling it was going to be the last time. As the hands get old and the countryside changes, every year it gets less likely that a crew like this will be around. They said they were glad I was there to document it.

As ranches get sold off, or the old timers just get to old to work the hard country, there are less and less that keep up the tradition. Its hard to keep the country open as the ranches one by one disappear. Lately, it seems it has been disappearing fast, and these folks up here realize it.

In the painting I put Jim Wilson, a cowboys, cowboy in the middle, a top hand Judd to his right and Cleve to the left. In both age and style of dress they represent a few generations of cowboy from this north country. Cleves rig has long cinches on both sides, fairly common in this rough north range. A tradition that stems from the Texas trail days, but is all but forgotten in other areas.


As we were gathering cattle just south of the Montana badlands, we sat up on a hillside overlooking the country. Sitting there with the wind whistling threw the mane of your horse, looking out over open frontier and getting the last bit of warmth from the sun before a storm rolls in. It is a feeling that imbeds cowboy into your blood.

In the painting I used the storm looming over the country side coming from behind to heighten the uneasy feeling of the cowboys from this turn of the century. Year after year the open country gets smaller and as the country changes, there is a longing for the days of old. In this part of the world where nothing changed for nearly 100 years, the days of old, was just about a few years ago. I feel lucky to have been able to see it and share in the tradition the way it was meant to be,... wild, wide open and free.


All rights reserved to artist

Bob Coronato 2008







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Oil On Canvas







































Title


"N.E. Wyoming/Montana border: "No place...for amateurs!"

Oil on Canvas 35 1/8 X 43

The setting is the north east corner of Wyoming crossing over the Montana line. The ranches are big, the grass is plentiful, the country is rough, and the water is bad (alkali). There is hundreds of square miles and very few people. Perfect cowboy country for the tough, spirited, pioneer type individuals who choose this area as home. Some people only get to "town" once a year.

A few years ago, I was on a brand crew that traveled with a chuck wagon, a remuda of horses, a bed roll wagon and a small group of good hands. We were gathering 10,000 acre pastures and branding 300 cows a day, for about 14 days straight. We got up before dawn and worked until dark, moving camp each time we finished gathering all the stockwithin a days ride.

With the Montana badlands in the distance, we were working the open country, gathering the cow/calves for branding and building temporary corrals to rope and drag the calves to the brand fire.

The weather describes the high plains best... In the morning you had on winter coats, long johns, and silk scarves to wrap your neck from the wind. By the middle of the day it usually

rained at least once, maybe some snow, and then by late afternoon it was hot enough for rolled up sleeves.

Only the toughest spirit enjoys this climate, and the few good cowboys I was working with not only thrived in it, but are some of the best hands I could ever had the privilege to work with.

Over the two weeks, there were a few bad wrecks, few broken bones, couple mashed fingers, and the usual close calls. The area goes from plains, to rough country that is straight up and down. There are lots of ravines and gully's and cattle hiding in the coulees. One guy got bucked of and broke his arm, so I had to drive him the doctor to "get fixed". We drove about 100 miles from camp to the Cowboy Back Bar for a shot, to ease the pain, and then down the road another couple miles to the hospital. On the return to cow camp, we stopped at the Stoneville Saloon for another "shot". The sign outside reads "cheap drinks and lousy food" and there is not a house to the horizon in any direction. By the next day, he figured that he healed up enough to get back to work and by that afternoon, he was horseback rope'n calves.

I use times like those days on the brand wagon crew, to add the grit and character to my art, that only living the life can inspire. On about the 9th or 10 th day I was working with Mark, who we all knew as "Gootz" and for a split second while we both were roping calves, I saw the image that I wanted to paint. It was an image that seemed to capture the spirit and freedom of the cowboys who work the high plains "rough country", and after working with them, I realized they would not choose to be any other place.

Bob Coronato














Oil on Canvas

















title      "there's noth'n like the feel'n,...of ride'n a fine horse through wyoming country,... thats still considered frontier!"


30" X 97" 1/16
Oil On Canvas


"It's already October, and a long dry summer is coming to an end with cool wind blowing over the powdered ground. On this day I get up at three a.m. and load up the outfit (truck) with my saddle, chinks, spurs and my trusty Carhartt jacket. I head out on the frosty morning down a dark, lonely road past Devil's Tower. I leave Hulett, population 429, to head to an even more remote section of Wyoming. I can hardly keep my eyes open as I drive over the endless dirt roads, listening to Neil Young. As the song sets the mood in the darkness I can almost feel a sense of nostalgia for what I'm doing and where I'm going. It seems in just a few years this day may just be a story and a memory because this part of the country is changing fast.

"I already know what to expect from the coming day. I just soak up the smell of the cold sage, the calls of the night birds, the dust clouds creating a rooster tail behind my outfit and, before I know it, this moment in time is gone. I head down the road over cattle guards, pass open-range cows staring at me, too cold to move, and head out to a little piece of dirt called Oshoto, Wyoming.

"Oshoto is miles of flat, grass-covered prairie as far as you can see with probably more bald eagles than people. I meet up with Stormy Burch and his sons Dallas and Austin about halfway, leave my outfit and saddle my horse. We load the trailer and head down the road to Stormy's brother's place. Stormy offers some coffee and a few jokes.

"We arrive at his brother Max's place, a big ranch with hundreds of thousands of acres of open plains and rough ridges to ride. Several crews are gathering at the same time, and it seems they move fast here-no sooner do the trucks stop than we're mounted and moving at a fast lope for what seems like miles. We ride hard, about fifteen of us riding lined up, breast-to-breast, horse hooves pounding the ground, coughs and puffs of frosty air are all you hear and see. Stormy jokes he is riding his 'fire breathin' dragon' since his horse is always a little jumpy and big puffs of steam rise up as he coughs out the chilly air.

"Stormy rides a beautiful bay-colored paint horse named Cork that has a little 'outlaw' in him. The horse came out of his brothers bucking horse string (his brother raises horses for rodeos, and many have gone to the national finals), and every now and them remembers he is still wild. I've never seen Cork come out of the trailer on all fours. When you try to unload him, he seems to fly out backwards and buck, kick and scream. Cork is always about half un-corked, acting as if he is always ready to buck you off for the littlest reason. A horse like that was strong and could really work all day. That's why Stormy likes him.

"As we ride, someone's tellin' a story of a guy who gets bucked off: 'He got thrown so hard, he kilt the sage where he hit!' We ride on to a ridge that overlooks a large valley, and split up in groups of two or three to gather the draws and check for cows. The sun hasn't risen above the horizon yet, and it seems to cast a strange blue light over the wet, frost-covered sage. As we ride, jackrabbits and prairie chickens jump out, but the horses don't bother too much now.

"I ride with Stormy and he shares stories of days gone by, and points out a few tipi rings. It's an exciting time of the year, everyone is in good spirits, the gathering is the year's work coming to an end, and there is always that barbecue at the end of the day.

"We gather the cows from the tall, sage-covered plains and point them in a general direction. After they decide to move, or take off at a run, we move on to find some more. The sun finally starts turning the sky a deep scarlet red as it cracks the horizon, and the prairie lights up in a way that's hard to relate. The sage goes from fading gray and green to a sharp, crisp orange, with intense long purple shadows. As we near the herd you can hear the whistles and calls of other riders and people you haven't seen for months or even a year. The friendly call-out across the open flats usually starts out with, 'So how are ya, Bob? What've ya been working on?'

"To me, it's a scene that has to be reaching its life's limits; the open ranges are too valuable to land developers and it's a slow creeping death for the West as the land gets developed. The end seems inevitable. For now, though, it's free, big, open and beautiful. I moved here for the same reason others do, and that's the very thing that will eventually make days like this one a thing of legend. I get a sense that even the people working have thought about that as well, and the stories always start with, 'Well, back when we used to...' Someday, that's all there will be left-just stories.

"We all sit on different hilltops, creating a channel for some of the other guys to drive the strays through so they could be gathered in a big group and moved. I love sitting on a mount, high atop a rocky outcropping on a ridge and listening to the wind whistle as it blows across the horse's mane. It's a great way to observe the whole country, the little dots gathering littler dots and horses calling across the expanse to each other. I see something running fast across a hill side, and I think it runs quite different than a deer or antelope, which becomes a common scene as everyone scours the sage for cows. Antelope and mule deer are always running all over, bouncing across the flats, but this was different, and I think I may just be delirious because it is early, but it looks like a big mountain lion.

"As the cows come through the gap that we made, the guys start filing in and eventually everyone is riding side by side pushing the herd towards the other groups gathered, That's when I hear Stormy's loud, excited voice going on about the lion he spooked up, and it becomes a topic for the next few miles.

"The cows start linin' out single file, and the crew starts taking their positions. There's the Boss ridin' point along with what seems to be his best hand, and the swing riders all take an even spacing along the column of cows. Not too close to push them too fast, not too far as to be useless and let a stray turn back. The drags ride up behind the herd in a tight formation, side by side, keeping the quitters in line and making lots of noise to keep 'em moving. Stormy cracks the bull-whip occasionally and the first few times they take off at a run. The cows stretch out and cover several miles, from the leaders to the drags. The herd snakes out and stretches as far as you can see and keep going. At one point, something spooks the bunch, and the herd takes off at a dead run-the lead cows run and the rest follow as about half the crew takes off in a leap to turn the lead cows. It looks like a swarm of bees sweeping down the hillside and snaking through the bottom of the coolies. I can see the guys in front with their slickers flying in the air behind them as they race off to try and turn the cows into one another to get them to stop. Every second the boss loses money as they sweat off the weight they gained all year. Finally the cows settle down and it would be smart to stay away from Max (the boss) for a while.

"The sun is high in the sky and it is great to feel the warmth of the sun, along with a steady cold and crisp wind, blowing across the tall golden grass. We ride along the Belle Fourche River, and the crystal-clear water reflects the sky and the wispy clouds along the cottonwoods and old oak trees. As my cheeks chap in the wind, I ride along, somewhat overloaded with information I'm trying to file away so I can paint this somehow.

"Just then, a large herd of wild horses comes running over the hill wanting to see what this was all about. About 150 of the group run up a ridge prancing around with their noses and tails in the air. Then, like a scared flock of birds, the entire herd just sweeps down the next hill out of sight. We ride most of the day toward our goal: the shipping pens.

"I wanted to create a painting that summed up what it was to be a cowboy-the freedom, the landscape, the teamwork of a bunch of hands, and the sheer vastness of the workplace. This was and is a little piece of my American frontier. A great horse, a great rig, and a beautiful day like this is all you need to create a feeling you'll never forget."





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Oil on Canvas





























Title

The Crow Family reunion 2007:

" In the shadows of the Little Big Horn,... as the families celebrate the night and revel in what it is to be Crow,... The worlds time, seems to have little significance"

medium: Oil on Canvas

size: 29 1/2 X 50 3/16

 

Often described as "The Tepee Capital of the World," Crow Fair is scheduled for Aug. 18-20 at Crow Agency. By the end of the week, about 1,500 tepees will be set up along the banks of the Little Bighorn River interspersed between the grand cottonwood trees and the eastern bluffs. The heart of the camp is the 200-foot diameter, open-air arbor and dance arena. In the arbor, all day and night there is traditional dancing, and singers around large drums rejoice. The pulse of the fair is felt as participants and viewers flow in and out around the arbor.

Each morning, a parade of vividly outfitted people on horses, cars, trucks and floats, all decorated with multicolored blankets and intricate beadwork, winds its way through the camp. Later, the all-Indian rodeo and horse races take place. With the inception of the fair, Indian horse racing, with an influence from whites, changed from straight line to a circle; hence, Chichi-a'xxaawasuua, ("running in a circle") the tribal name for Crow Fair.

Crow Fair reaches beyond its pageantry, excitement, contests and giveaways. It is foremost a reunion of family and friends, a chance to visit without the pressures of everyday life. Those living away from the reservation usually make Crow Fair their annual visit, often traveling great distances to do so. Adults and children gather together sharing not only campsites and food, but also their heritage and culture.

"I walked through the different family camps in the moonlight trying not to trip over tepi stakes, or get run over by horses. I was once again working my way through the cottonwood trees to get to the arbor and watch the dances, as I have for nearly 15 years. I remember thinking how much time had stood still for the Crow people, and nights like this allowed for them to celebrate their culture and live as they have for many generations before. Seeing relay racers with their horses painted always stirs a sense of timelessness. Dogs run wild all over camp, horses and riders wonder, 49 songs are heard all night and the drums beat like a heartbeat of the camp. With a mix of traditional arbors, tepies and a few modern things, there is little to reference what year it is. The Crow during their August reunion are separate from the rest of the world in both mind and spirit, and the feeling of being in a special place is magnified by the moon. "

bob c.

all rights reserved to artist Bob Coronato











Oil on Canvas




























Title   
"June 9th in the Black Hills...........

P'ard all I remember,..... t'was a cold som-bitch"

 

We arrived the afternoon of the 8th, at a ranch on the South Dakota and Wyoming boarder. I was there to help out the Foreman of the ranch, move cows to the north, for their summer pasture. The Forman, a colorful, tough old cowboy in his own right, was the image you think of when you read about the west. He has an old time sense to him, and is a man of few words, he's been cowboy'n since he was a kid, eats one meal a day and cuts his hair only one time each spring. We got up the 9th of June, at 4:30 a.m. and started to prepare for the day. Not too much conversation is exchanged in these early hours, its just business as usual and everyone knows what they need to do. I remember waking up and standing in the basement with my eyes half open looking at all the rows of jarred beans, and peaches and canned goods. I herd my friend George, suggest to me to wear my heavy winter gear but since it was just 75 degrees the day before, I thought for a moment, he was trying to pull a typical prank on me. I decided to take a chance, so I put on my long johns, heavy wool vest, carhartt jacket packed my gloves and rolled my oil slicker. I dragged my saddle out, to get ready and found a cool drizzle breaking the silence of that dark morning. As I saddled up my horse, he humped up, and decided to shake out the cold by taking a trip around the corral, bucking and kicking. we all mounted up and sat in the rain planning the trip up the "limestone" to the summer pasture.

I wanted to get a good view of the 1000' s of cows snaking up the limestone canyon, so after awhile I was sent up to the front to take a small bunch way ahead to point the rest of the herd. At one point I was too far ahead so I stopped at a bottleneck canyon, held the bunch to let the drags catch up. The cows had spread out a couple miles and needed to be slowed and as they were held they started to bunch up and fill the bottom of this high walled canyon. They were bawling and bunched up so tight they were shoulder to shoulder and thicker than flees on a fat pup. As the temperature started to drop, as we got higher into the mountains, the rain started to turn to large wet flakes and the canyon walls started to collect the snow. The draggs finally were catching up and as I got the hand signal we started to push on. As the cows were heating up, steam started to rise off there backs until billowing clouds rose up high through the tall canyon, like a train, puffing through the Black Hills. I was glad to have my slicker, and my "wild rag" around my neck, as the snow really started to come down until it was an all out blizzard. After awhile the cows got real quiet and at one point I was off from the main bunch, I sat tucked up under a pine tree branch out of the snowfall. On my sorrel horse, I sat just listening to the sounds of the flakes coming through the trees. My horse hung his head down low and I sat with my hands under my saddle blanket, I just thought how amazing this day was, and how I hoped I'd never forget every detail. As the snow collected on my hat and the black dye ran down my back, I couldn't wait to paint this scene, unfolding before my eyes. Finally we made it out of the canyon, up high on an open flat, the cows really spread out and the forest and the cows disappeared in the white of the snow fall. With about ten inches of snow on the ground, George and I rode up the side of the herd yelling "this is the life for me" but our excitement fell on deaf and very cold ears, it seemed no one else shared our enthusiasm, since most were not as prepared. By the end of the day our voices were worn out from trying to keep the young fresh branded calves from lying down and wondering off into the forest. In the end as we sat horseback in the snow, we waited for the cows to "mother up", and as no one really said much, I thought to myself, this was a day I was waiting for my entire life, and this was defiantly the "west" I was searching for, as a kid, reading books about cowboy'n in the north country.




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title     "Wait'n fer em to mother up,...and bed down!"


"Today, just as in the past, after calves are branded, they're taken to a summer pasture. The cows and their calves become separated in the drive and anyone who has moved large numbers of cows knows that one thing is for sure-it's loud. One by one the cows quiet down and mother-up, wandering off in pairs.

After a long day of moving cows, you can feel your body starting to creak. As the day begins to cool off, you and your horse just sit there. This was always an introspective time for me, sitting on my horse, waiting. You have time to look around and think. As the cows pair up it gets quieter and quieter, until there is just silence."




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Oil on Canvas




Title       "today, was one of the good o'l   days,....of tomarrow!"




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Oil on Board















































title        "Its a drag,....ride'n drag!"



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Oil on Canvas












































title    "Ill never forget the sounds of 4 a.m."




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Title  

The Northern range : "If you don't like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes"

Its not the old west of the 1890's but the rural west on the High Plains. The weather in the northern range is very un- predictable and can change from unbearably hot , to snowing in just a few hours. You have to prepare for just about any condition. " one June morning we were trailing cows up into the cooler high country. We had to go about 27 miles up thorough the hill country to the summer pasture. The weather went from clear warm temperate conditions to rain, then sleet and by noon we had almost a foot of snow. The next day the town rodeo was on and it was 85 degrees and sunny. The joke up here is..."Take your long johns off July 4th,... And put them back on July 5 th"




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Oil on Canvas
































19 5/8 x 30 3/ 16

title    "In the moonlit, early hours of crow fair.............

                  the worlds time, seems to have no significance"

The Crow fair is the family reunion of the crow people, and in the tradition of the Daanniiluua or "parade" Symbolizes the "moving of camp". For centuries the Apsaalooke, whether mountain crow, river crow and ,or kick in the belly, would send out particular men to locate new camps. today these men are the "parade marshals".

The parade marshal would be responsible for determining whether to move to a particular place, and be responsible for the entire entourage of travelers. The apsaalooke (crow) would pack the entire camp, belongings, and horses, and move to the next fertile grounds. This was an exciting time for the crow, they would look forward to the new resources, harvesting new medicines, have plenty of deer, elk, buffalo, and think of the possible new romances, and coups to count. so today during the Daanniiluua, what we see, is the crow exercising customs of yesteryear, as they pack their finest belongings, on to the best horses, and parade through the camp.

As you wonder through the camp of over 500 tipis, you get a sense that this is an important place, and a rare glimpse to a culture almost completely gone by. I remember wondering around the camp at night, the moon was high, and the tipis lined the coulees, and ravines along the Little Big Horn. As I moved through the different camps kids on horseback would come shooting out of the trees or from behind tepis, chasing each other and kind of startle you. Indian dogs would be running around all over and I could here bits of conversations, that I could not make out because they were in crow. in the distance you could here the drums, and high pitched shrills of the singers as they danced and held there competitions. The camp marshal would drive around and over a loud speaker and all night long, give talks in crow and some English about being a good warrior, teaching history and about being proud to be crow, as well as singing and warning people not to sleep and celebrate all night.

The moon was very bright and as far as you could see, tipis glowed in the moon, groups of singers broke the early morning hours by standing at tepi, doors singing "49" songs. All of this felt like a trip to the past, because this was not for tourists, this was not a reenactment, this was their family reunion.

The camp was located on the ground that Custer and Reno met there demise, just over 100 years ago. the terrain unchanged and still has that wild feeling of a place unsettled. I stayed in pius real birds camp (the parade marshal) and as the sun came up the camp started to get busy again with people preparing for the parade.

As you wonder around you come across direct links to their past as you see traditional tepis, beaded horse equipment, dew claw adornments on the smoke flaps of the tepis, and I even saw a buffalo robe covering a door to a tepi with a red trade cloth edge. These remind you that this is a place in a time that no one has any idea still exists. This is one of the last real camps and a part of American history that has survived into a modern time that has no relation to the old customs. For a moment each year the camp is an island in the middle of 21 century technology, celebrating, and practicing traditions of early man. For the sake of the crow people I hope they continue, but I feel this rare privilege to see into our country's colorful past, could easily disappear, like it has for most all other tribes. Since the reservation is so isolated, in remote Montana, being "crow" has still survived.




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Oil on Board
























9 1/8 X 21 ½

Oil on board

Title

"Simply,...

A free life dictated by the heart,...

with a chance,... To experience the epic "

�

Moving cows on the "Pickrell" (pickrell land and cattle company) always stirs the soul with the feeling of the monumental epic of the west. Located in the plains of the north east part of Wyoming, the ranch covers 230,000 acres of practically un fenced land, with red bluffs, pines open plains, and oaks cascading around the Belle Fource River. The ranch still has signs of Indian camps, and there's always a few stories of the big trail days when crews came through that part of the country from Texas. Around the ranch, there's lots of modern stories of mean horses, rank cows, bad wrecks, and good hands with a peaceful sense of pride in the present. With more than 500 head of wild horses and a cowboy crew that still use horses to move big herds, you cant help feel a sigh of relief, knowing this kind of life is still around.




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Oil on Canvas

title   "I don't go to church,...this is my church!"

 





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Oil on Canvas

 

 

 

Title   ""The good o'l saddle maker,..worked all night!"










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Oil on Board

 

 








Oil On Canvas

Title : "No matter where you'd Ride, or how far you'd roam...

this o'l place, always felt like home ! "

The "west" means different things to everyone that experiences a piece of it. I ask...is it the solitude, is it the place, a town, a building... or an old bar... or is it just being mounted on a fine horse, and free from the pressures of the world. Whatever it is... everyone's "west" has a personal heart felt meaning and it seems to effect everyone that lives there or just visits.

Someday there will only be a guess as to what it was like to be in a frontier town of a few people and free to live, and do what you like, or what its like to just be completely free. The "freedom" is the one overwhelming sense of the wide open country that seems to have the most impact on those that experience it and in some places, you can still feel those freedoms.

The rodeo bar is in Hulett Wyoming and you can still see cowboys riding there horses around town and occasionally in the bar. The freedom of Wyoming at the present time is reminiscent of the turn of the century and capturing a moody suggestive scene can still draw a sense of the old, free and epic... the reason I live here!.


Bob Coronato



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Oil on Canvas




title   "Bedd'n em down,...at L.A.  Browns Camp"







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Oil on Canvas




































Oil on Canvas

Title "Welcome to Alzada Montana... now set yer watch back 50 years"



Size 24 7/8 X 35 1/2

On the banks of the Little Missouri River, in the extreme southeast corner of Montana, is the tiny town of Alzada. Settled in the late 1870s by cattle ranchers, the town was established in 1880 under the name of Stoneville, in honor of Louis Stone, who owned a saloon there at the time. There was some confusion, however, because another Montana town had a similar name, so in 1885 the town was renamed Alzada, in honor of Mrs. Alzada Sheldon, the wife a pioneer rancher who came to the area in 1883.

Alzada was a stage stop on the route between Deadwood, South Dakota and Miles City Montana. In its early days, it was renowned for the "Shoot out at Stoneville," when the famous Exelby Gang met their match in 1884. The gang had been running roughshod over the area since it was formed in 1877, rustling cattle and horses, and generally making life miserable for the residents. The shoot out culminated a series of arrests and led to the ultimate breakup of the gang.

Today Alzada sits in a still, very remote part of Montana, with little more than a handful of people in town, and about 200 in the entire county. From the Saloon door, there is not a house to the horizon, in any direction. The "town" has a convenience store/gas station, a bit and spur maker, and the infamous Stoneville saloon.

The Saloon is a classic old west style bar, with a bar back dating to the 1880's, The bar back was brought in by steamboat to Miles City Montana and packed by mules down to Alzada. Up until a few years ago the bar still had a wild reputation for high stakes cowboy poker games. Alzada has always had an Old West feel, with Gun fights, bar brawls and a "there aint no law around here" type attitude. (The closest law enforcement is 50 miles away in Wyoming)

As you walk through the door, you see Bullet holes in the ceiling, and walls, curiosities and all kinds of relics hanging up collecting inches of dust. The floor is slanted and uneven with dirt, and sawdust covering it. When I first got to the area there was a coffin in the corner. Some guy put it there and said, "I'll keep it here, I'm gonna die in this bar anyway". There is a single slot machine in one corner and you can get a tattoo while you wait for your dinner. My brother and I went in one day and we asked the cook to set us up with a couple of steaks. I new enough to not ask, but my brother asked if he could get it cooked medium rare. The cook looked at him and said "Ill try,... but you read the f--n' sign on the way in!" (referring to the cheap drinks and lousy food sign on the front.)

Alzada has always had a rough border town feel, but if your wearing a cowboy hat, its a pretty friendly place. I always wanted to paint the the saloon because it is one of the last holdouts of its "kind". Places like this are a time capsule of the frontier.

As I was working on the painting, people had heard about it and were dropping by the studio in Hulett to see it. Everybody new a story, and each one topped the last one I had heard. From the Old west days, All the way up to a few years ago, "High Dollar" card games were played with money on the tables. When Al Young owned it the local cowboys considered it "THE" hang out. With no limit card games and cash on the table, people came all the way from Deadwood to play. As one of my Friends said,..the games were "illegal as hell, but sometimes the cash would be as high as 30,000 dollars on the table." In the 1980's that was a pile!

Stories are numerous, of ranches won and lost. I heard one guy say his father lost and won back their ranch twice, and then finally lost it. A few years ago when Al owned it "Bruce" and "Lindy" [two local cowboys] were always scene pack'n a gun around, and gun play was not uncommon. They were not the only ones pack'n an iron. In one card game, this one local cowboy said he had to go home at midnight, as he had just won a huge pile of cash, another o'l cowboy shot the clock before the hand turned midnight and said "you'll leave when the game is over!" A similar story of a bar keep that wanted to call last call, and again the clock was shot. I called a friend who lives in Ridge Montana, a neighboring area not quite a town, to verify the story and their response to that was "ah hell, Bruce shot holes in so much sh-t, up here its hard to tell all the stories."

I also heard story of a guy that came into the saloon and, seeing a cowboy wearing a pistol on his hip, felt he needed to say something. He kept making comments and as he drank they got louder and more verbose. He felt there was no need to carry a gun around here and that it was kind of goofy. Finally he Felt confident enough to put a beer can on his head to taught the cowboy. The cowboy decided that he had just about enough, drew the gun and shot the can off his head. I heard that one from an eyewitness.

Another story I recently heard was that a sore loosing cowboy was so mad about a card game he drove his pick up through the front of the Saloon, clear into the Bar.

One day as I was nearly finished on the painting a friend from the Alzada area came by the studio to see the painting. He relayed a story that was a bit more "old west" sounding. Years ago a guy left the Saloon very late one night just after he had won a large pile in a card game. A few days later they found his body somewhere between Alzada (pop 15 ) and "Ridge" (pop15) Montana. The place is still called "Dead Man Creek." No one ever found out who he was. He went on in his story to say that 20 or 30 years ago, the owners of the bar at that time, were remodeling and digging behind the bar, they dug up a skeleton, another unknown person, with another unknown story attached.

This place had all the character and characters of the old west, even now its a great glimpse into the wild frontier past. When I first came into the country around Hulett and Alzada I ran into "Maxine" who lived in a sheep wagon behind the Stoneville Saloon. She had long straight black hair, 100 lbs, a hard and weathered face and looked to me like a Northern Cheyenne woman. Whenever she was in the saloon the stool beside her was empty. Legend was that she stabbed a guy in the bar for reasons no one can remember. I remember as I went into the saloon, hoping that there would be more stools available beside that one, but more than once I was the one that had to sit there.

The stories were endless and the characters that frequented the Saloons in the Black Hills area were numerous as well. But these days, just like maxine, Year after year, one by one, they get old

and die off. These days, it seems the buildings are still around but the characters have all but disappeared into the legend that this area has become famous for.

All Rights reserved to the artist   Bob Coronato




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Oil on Canvas

Title
"If that dog don'tr kill me,..
                           He's gonna darn sure leave me walk'n!"





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Oil on Canvas































Oil on Canvas

size 18 X 28 5 /8

Title

Giving power to the relay horses:

"Ride today,... with the sound of thunder, blinding force of lightning and rain down hail upon my enemy"


Many of the Plains People considered the horse an extension of the warrior himself, and showed this by decorating the horse with medicines and visionary paint markings. This relation between man and horse was so closely connected that the protective paint marks were often shared by the horse, the warrior and his shield, and his lodge. Horse medicines could even be used as war charms. Symbols of lightning were painted so others could see and fear that the warrior had a vision that he had been given lightning power.


On the high Plains hail makes every thing cower in the wake of the storm. In Wyoming and South Dakota, summer thunder storms will often drop golf ball to baseball size hail putting fear in everyone in its path. The early people of the high plains understood the fear this had in the mind of an enemy and horses were often painted with hail or lightning.

A friend of mine Mike Cowdrey recently wrote in the book Native American Horse Masks

"the painting and decoration of a horse shamanically masked a prey animal into a predator and making it an inviolate, symbolic link between warrior and cosmos. Imbued with magic, the warriors steed now rode with the power of thunder, and lightning. The visionary power of the shaman transformed a beast of burden into a lethal engine of war."

Similar to years ago the people of the Northern Plains Nations still paint there horses on special occasions with the same symbols passed down by there ancestors.

Each Summer, in Wyoming, the Crow people paint there horses during the championship relay races. Symbols of power are used on there "war ponies" in the race. Every year during the Indian relay races, a holy man or elder will paint a riders horse with marks of power and for others to fear. Today, just as years ago, the horse and rider are painted with the same marks. Parallel lines for coupe marks, dots for hail, a circle around the eye to improve the animals vision, and often large zigzags for lightning.

The races are spectacular demonstrations of the best horsemanship in the world. Riders leap off one horse on to another, while horses run at full speed. The wrecks happen on the dangerous dismounts, as riders get dragged. The bareback warriors grasp to there horses, in a race for honor, in a spectacle like few have seen. My jaw is agape every year I go.

Bob Coronato




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Oil on Board

  5  X  7

 





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Oil on Canvas


































Title       "Its better to be look'n at em,... than look'n for em!"

Oil on Canvas 28.5 X 46

The setting is the north east corner of Wyoming crossing over the Montana line. The ranches are big, the grass is plentiful, the country is rough, and the water is bad (alkali). There is hundreds of square miles and very few people. Perfect cowboy country for the tough, spirited, pioneer type individuals who choose this area as home. Some people only get to "town" once a year.

A few years ago, I was on a brand crew that traveled with a chuck wagon, a remuda of horses, a bed roll wagon and a small group of good hands. We were gathering 10,000 acre pastures at a clip, and branding 300 cows a day, for about 14 days straight. Some of the ranches were 100-200 thousand acres. We got up before dawn and worked until sun down and rode horseback back to the chuck wagon, where the wagon boss had supper ready. We packed up the wall tents and bed rolls to move camp each time we finished gathering all the stock for the ranch we were working for. With the Montana badlands in the distance, we were working the open country, gathering the cow/calves for branding and building temporary corrals to rope and drag the calves to the brand fire.

The weather describes the high plains best... In the morning you had on winter coats, long johns, and silk scarves to wrap your neck from the wind. By the middle of the day it usually

rained at least once, maybe some snow, and then by late afternoon it was hot enough for rolled up sleeves. Only the toughest spirit enjoys this climate, and the few good cowboys I was working with not only thrived in it, but are some of the best hands I could ever had the privilege to work with.

Over the two weeks, there were a few bad wrecks, few broken bones, couple mashed fingers, and the usual close calls. The area goes from plains, to rough country that is straight up and down. There are lots of ravines and gully's and cattle hiding in the coulees. One guy got bucked of and broke his arm, so I had to drive him the doctor to "get fixed". We drove about 100 miles from camp to the Cowboy Back Bar for a shot, to ease the pain, and then down the road another couple miles to the hospital. On the return to cow camp, we stopped at the Stoneville Saloon for another "shot". The sign outside reads "cheap drinks and lousy food" and there is not a house to the horizon in any direction. By the next day, he figured that he healed up enough to get back to work and by that afternoon, he was horseback rope'n calves.

I use times like those days on the brand wagon crew, to add the grit and character to my art, that only living the life can inspire.

All Rights Reserved to the Artist

Bob Coronato










close up





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Oil on Canvas


























Medium : Oil on Canvas

Size : 16 ¾ X 7 ¾

Title " Head five miles that way,...and then go five miles that way,... Gather up n'

bring back every critter ya find !"  



I was part of a brand crew in North East Wyoming and South East Montana around the turn of this century. We were gathering 10,000 acres at a time, on a ranch that covered several counties, and two states. As we headed out that morning towards the Montana bad lands, the boss told us to head out five miles that way,...ect.

I was wondering how we were suppose to know when we reached five miles? After all, my roots are back east and it is a big farm if you have 100 acres.

Nevertheless we gathered up everything we found and headed them back to the portable corals set up near the camp. We had a chuck wagon, ranch bedroll wagon, a remuda of horses and we slept in wall tents on the prairie. We moved camp about every other day, covering 20 some miles between camps. As I recall we branded 300 cows a day for about two weeks.

The country we were working was so rough, yet beautiful and vast. It really impressed me as to the scale of the workplace we were going to spend the days ahead, gathering the cow/calves for branding. From Ridge Montana (population about 15) up to Rocky Point and Lightning Flats, I have the greatest memories, of some of the roughest countryside. The west really lives on, in this small hideout of our country.

All rights reserved to the artist.




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Pittura di strati Oil and Acrylic







Original Pittura de strati oil Series










































.....................................Size 24 1/8 X 24 1/8

Medium: Original Pittura de strati  Oil and Acrylic

series  on wood panel (between 1 and 15 originals)


Title "Today we will look our best,...And you will take me where I want to go,...

Tomorrow they will tell stories of our deeds!"

 

I created this Painting using a technique know as Pittura di strati . As I start, the board is covered and then textured with thick gesso. Multiple layers of acrylic paint are applied, and on top of the acrylic, silk screened line work. Layers of translucent oil paint are slowly built up one layer at a time. Oil Paint has and the ability to create fine glazes, transparent but slow to dry.  As each layer builds up, they create effects of light and texture not possible with other painting techniques. This glazing technique is very similar to that of the artists of the Italian Renaissance, giving the paint a luminous quality that is not possible any other way.

Being an intaglio print maker and an oil painter for many years, I have been working on combining the two mediums for nearly 8 years. The Pittura di strati medium of silkscreen, oil and acrylic, is the only way to achieve the effect that I was looking for.  I wanted to explore the age old tradition of silk-screen with the cutting edge techniques that are currently available, along with the drawing and imagery from my etchings. By layering  translucent glazes of color in oil, I was able to get a look that I was searching for.  
 
Andy Warhol used a similar but more crude technique in the 1960's to create mixed media work that was also a multiple using Silkscreen.  Today the end results can be much more refined than at that time. As I combine the painting mediums and the dozens of translucent layers of oil paint, the pittura di strati  technique refines the work to a unique style of painting never done previously. Because of all the variables in the layering, glazing and varnishing, each painting in the series is unique and can vary in color, texture, etc.  Similar to the bronze method of producing art, the end result is the original intention of the artist, and all the steps through the process, are the only way to get to the end finished piece.


While Listening to Russell Means reading a passage of Chief Seattle's 1854 speech, I felt it described the past and current situation of the Plains Indians living in the area that I live. Specifically the Sioux near the Black Hills, and the surrounding area. The words in his speech that were at one time common to read because of there poetic nature, were new to me. As I heard Russell read his speech they seemed to really describe what I feel as I travel and live in the country around the Black Hills, Pine Ridge and all the way to Crow Agency.

"...and when the last red man shall have perished from the earth

and his memory among white men shall have become a myth,

these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe,

and your children's children shall think of themselves alone in a

field, the store, a shop, upon the highway,

or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone"

Chief Seattle 1854

Artist Tom Waugh has spent 15 years dragging me all over the Black Hills, teaching me about the Native Americans past and present history. While driving all through the Hills, and pointing out local historical places, (and a few saloons,) imparting to me, the history, as well as his memories of living in the High Plains. Tom and I have built and run a Native American museum in the Black Hills, and through the experience of this, I drew the image for the painting.

the mixed media is based on a etching I created for a book the american indian horse masks. The horse mask is a five century old tradition introduced to the native americans with the early spanish horses. The native americans soon adopted the adornment as a symbolic armor.

the masks were created through visions and decorated with motifs of hail, thunder, and lightning. the symbolic armor adorned with these symbols of power could transform the two into great warriors with extraordinary abilities, and possibly carry the horse and rider between the two worlds, where bullets and arrows could not hurt them. The horse with its advantages for travel and warfare influenced every facet of the plains indians lives. The horse itself has become a icon of the plains people and is exalted in song, myth, and their art. A horse is dressed for war as well as ceremony and is painted and adorned with images of power.

Even today the horses are painted with these same symbols at the indian relay races.

the zig zag lines are lightning and the dots are hail. the u shape marks are hors stealing or horse raid marks. (used alot at the relay races)

Young warriors can win high honors amongst his people by winning at these races.

"The relay races are the most amazing examples of horsemanship, while riding bareback I have ever seen, you cannot describe it until you see it." After spending years watching these races, and realizing the horse culture is very much the same today as it was in the past. I came up with the title, and through the experience of this, I drew the image for the painting."

All rights reserved to artist. Bob Coronato





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Pittura Di Strati Oil / Acrylic on board






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Pittura Di Strati oil / Acrylic on Wood Board





Original Pittura di strati Oil and Acrylic

Artist Bob Coronato

Size 27 X 59

Medium: Original Pittura di strati Oil and acrylic

series on wood panel (between 1 and 15 originals)

Title          " Original for the Hulett Rodeo Poster"

I created this Painting using a technique know as Pittura di strati . As I start, the board is covered and then textured with thick gesso. Multiple layers of acrylic paint are applied, and on top of the acrylic, silk screened line work. Layers of translucent oil paint are slowly built up one layer at a time. Oil Paint has and the ability to create fine glazes, transparent but slow to dry.  As each layer builds up, they create effects of light and texture not possible with other painting techniques. This glazing technique is very similar to that of the artists of the Italian Renaissance, giving the paint a luminous quality that is not possible any other way.

Being an intaglio print maker and an oil painter for many years, I have been working on combining the two mediums for nearly 8 years. The Pittura di strati medium of silkscreen, oil and acrylic, is the only way to achieve the effect that I was looking for.  I wanted to explore the age old tradition of silk-screen with the cutting edge techniques that are currently available, along with the drawing and imagery from my etchings. By layering  translucent glazes of color in oil, I was able to get a look that I was searching for.  
 
Andy Warhol used a similar but more crude technique in the 1960's to create mixed media work that was also a multiple using Silkscreen.  Today the end results can be much more refined than at that time. As I combine the painting mediums and the dozens of translucent layers of oil paint, the pittura di strati  technique refines the work to a unique style of painting never done previously. Because of all the variables in the layering, glazing and varnishing, each painting in the series is unique and can vary in color, texture, etc.  Similar to the bronze method of producing art, the end result is the original intention of the artist, and all the steps through the process, are the only way to get to the end finished piece.


The Bucking horse is drawn from one of Max Burch's rough string. He brings horses every year from his ranch in Rozet Wyoming to the Hulett rodeo. The horses are Quarter horses with a bit of work horse mixed in, to make them stought and hardy enough to handle the Wyoming cold winter. They are absolutely the best horses for ranching in this area, if they don't become bucking horses. Max bucks out 100's to see which ones become good rodeo stock, and the rest get turned back out on the ranch, or become ranch hand horses. The cowhands on the ranch use them, but every now and then, the horses seem to remember that their bucking horses, but for the most part they are fine range horses.

At the end of the two day Rodeo they buck out the top 6 horses against the top six cowboys. Its called the "Wild Ride" and the horses are usually some of max's rankest horses. The burch's most famous horse was "Blood Brother" who went on to become a modern rodeo legend and retired at 14 as the 2008 saddle Bronc of the year. The horses are rank and wild, usually 4 years olds that have never even seen people before. Hulett (pop 408) has a rodeo every spring and as the season kick off its sort of the social event of the year. Everyone gathers to visit with one another, watch the rodeo and dance in the Saloons at night. I have wanted to do the poster for 15 years and finally had the chance to work on the idea that I had been saving for the poster.

 

All rights reserved to the artist.

Bob Coronato 2009
















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Pittura di strati Oil and Acrylic

Artist Bob Coronato

Size 28 X 35 3/4

Medium: pittura di strati    Oil and Acrylic

series on wood panel (between 1 and 15 originals)

Title      " Original for the wickenburg Gold Rush Days Rodeo Poster"


I created this Painting using a technique know as Pittura di strati . As I start, the board is covered and then textured with thick gesso. Multiple layers of acrylic paint are applied, and on top of the acrylic, silk screened line work. Layers of translucent oil paint are slowly built up one layer at a time. Oil Paint has and the ability to create fine glazes, transparent but slow to dry.  As each layer builds up, they create effects of light and texture not possible with other painting techniques. This glazing technique is very similar to that of the artists of the Italian Renaissance, giving the paint a luminous quality that is not possible any other way.

Being an intaglio print maker and an oil painter for many years, I have been working on combining the two mediums for nearly 8 years. The Pittura di strati medium of silkscreen, oil and acrylic, is the only way to achieve the effect that I was looking for.  I wanted to explore the age old tradition of silk-screen with the cutting edge techniques that are currently available, along with the drawing and imagery from my etchings. By layering  translucent glazes of color in oil, I was able to get a look that I was searching for.  
 
Andy Warhol used a similar but more crude technique in the 1960's to create mixed media work that was also a multiple using Silkscreen.  Today the end results can be much more refined than at that time. As I combine the painting mediums and the dozens of translucent layers of oil paint, the pittura di strati  technique refines the work to a unique style of painting never done previously. Because of all the variables in the layering, glazing and varnishing, each painting in the series is unique and can vary in color, texture, etc.  Similar to the bronze method of producing art, the end result is the original intention of the artist, and all the steps through the process, are the only way to get to the end finished piece.


The Bucking horse is drawn from a ranch rodeo in Alzada Montana (population 202 ) were fann'n a horse, with your hat, is still legal. Just about 30 miles from hulett (pop. 409) the ranch rodeo each spring is an area highlight. The horses are rank and wild, usually 4 years olds that have never even seen people before. The p.k. ranch gathers up a 100 head of horses that roam the ranch, buck them out, just to see which ones can buck. Probably the most wild and western rodeo I have ever seen. They pick the best ones to put into there bucking horse string, for rodeo stock.

The horses are Quarter horses with a bit of work horse mixed in, to make them stought and hardy enough to handle the Wyoming cold winter. They are absolutely the best horses for ranching in this area. If they don't become bucking horses, the hands on the ranch use them. Every now and then, the horses seem to remember that their bucking horses , but for the most part they are fine range horses.

All rights reserved to the artist.
















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Oil on Canvas










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Oil on Canvas
































oil on Canvas
Size 33 X 48 1/4

Title :
"Full moon high,...weather just right,...camp looked good,...
as the Crow song says,...was a good night"


It was August 2008 along the Little Big Horn at Crow fair. I was wondering through the different Tepi Camps on my way to the dance arbor at the center of camp. There was about 1500 tepis and as the moon was full it was easy to make your way past all the horses and tepis and through the trees to the arbor. I love watching the singers and seeing the dancers compete. the sounds stir the sole and nights like this make it hard to get crow fair out of your blood. I was heading back from the dance arbor I noticed there were about 18 different tepis light up and it gave camp a really different feel than I had seen in all the 15 different years previously. I spent all day and late into the night down at the Crow camp.
The next day I was sitting on the back porch of my friend Putt Thompsons trading post. There were Indian traders all gathered around a table looking over different items and Putt was buying and selling goods as usual. There is always people coming and going trading, buying and selling. I was commenting about how great the camp looked and how I had never seen so many glowing tepis. I spoke about how the moon was really bright and it left quite an impression, and I could not wait to paint it. Putt had commented that he had never seen camp like that and he lived at Crow for 20 or more years. As I went on and on about it, a Crow woman heard me and said to me, when camp looks like that and the everything is just right, we call that "a good night" and said they even had a song about it. Its pretty rare when its all,..."just right"

The tipi represents a woman, every day as you come out you are born all over again. You have a second mother as long as you have a place to come home to, where you have security and happiness.The tipi was the dwelling of the Plains Indian. Made from buffalo hides or (canvas), lodge pole pine and shaped like a cone with two outside flaps that protrude from the top above the entrance. On the outside, in the back are two poles connected to the smoke flaps. Each part of the tipi has a meaning.
The Apsa'alooke (Crows) are known as four-pole people. According to the number of poles which formed the basic foundation, the different tribes were known as either three or four-pole people.
The Crow tipi consists of four base poles, which represent the 4 cardinal points and seasons of the year. The northeast is the force that controls the day coming over from the east, the southeast is the eternal summer, the southwest is the point where people leave the world, and the northwest, the eternal winter, where the weather comes and freshens the earth. Facing east, the two door poles represent the spirits of the lion is on your left and the bear is on your right, protecting the tipi. Two flap poles, the smoke flaps represent the spirits of the owl on the left and the right the coyote who are on guard over the tipi night and day.

Of all the different tepi designs, the Crow tepee-tipi is probably the most pleasing design visually. The size of the smoke flaps are beautifully proportioned to the nearly conical shape of the tepee (tipi) itself. The extra long lodge poles give a pleasing hour glass appearence.


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Bob Coronato





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" Wyoming still is .........what America , once was..."

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Up on the northern plains, out in the rolling hills, there is a couple of say'ns that can pretty much tell the story............"so quiet..you can hear the sunlight coming" and " IM think'n of mov'n........ this'a here country's gett'n so damn over populated" and " Ive always been-a fight'n , the bit,..... to get to some other place" " The lands so wide open.....ya couldn't hide no more'na hill" and finally "We were so far out you had to pipe in daylight"

When your out checking cows, and the suns gett'n low in the sky, or its just after it has risen, the rolling hills of the plains take on a real beauty of their own. The strong yellow light, the color patterns on the grass and the calming silence, creates a very peaceful and contemplative time. The cool air on your nose, the warm saddle, a horse cough, the smell of hooves on the fresh grass, the occasional wind whistling on your horses mane, and not another soul t'ween you and the ends of the earth. This seems to stir thoughts of the past, and of the present, questions about time. some of the most interesting conversations I've had , been sprung at those times, but the best are the ones with yourself, as you trail over the hills listening to the sounds,.......................................... of being alive.




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 Ride'n Blood Brother: " I thought I got on backwards,... cus I never once saw his head!"

Rodeo fans will probably recognize the horse, which is often seen on television in the ProRodeo, but I was fortunate enough to see this horse buck many times, from his very beginning's. I first saw the small blood bay known as Blood Brother at a ranch rodeo on the border of Wyoming and Southeast Montana. I would drive 45 miles down the road from Hulett Wyoming (pop 429) to Alzada Montana (pop 15) and then 26 miles down a dirt road to a homemade arena, in an area known as "Ridge." The arena was on the Jim Wilson's ranch and the Wilson's would host the ranch rodeo every year. After ten years it was disbanded because of insurace, and "they dam near killed someone every year."

Max Burch supplied the rough stock, and his horses were locally known as some really rank outlaws. Max Burch's P.K. ranch, has hundreds of horses on his large ranch covering several hundred thousand acres. Max would gather up his four year olds that had never been ridden before, bring them to Ridge, and people would pull their trucks into a circle and have a rodeo. The horses had barley ever seen people before, being mostly wild, and the bronc match became one of the wildest rodeos most had ever seen. Every June each year they bucked out over 50 head, the only hard part was finding enough cowboys to ride them all. It was like the early days of the west, but took place in the 1990's. There was not a house to the horizon in any direction, and with a cold wind blowing over the plains, wild horses and mostly local cowboys, it was like going back in time, to the earliest days of rodeo. The horses that bucked wild became rodeo stock and those that did not buck as hard became ranch horses, or were just set back out on the range. Blood Brothers first qualified ride was made in that Ridge dirt, and he has gone on to become a modern legend.

Blood Brother has a reputation among the cowboys as being a very rank and hard to ride horse. He's a horse feared and coveted by saddle bronc riders. They know he can buck them off without even knowing what they did wrong. They also know if they get tapped off on the horse, he will carry them to the pay window for first place money. The horse has been among the top three saddle bronc horses in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association several times. He's finished second in the Saddle Bronc of the Year voting twice, (2002-03) and has made eight trips to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. 2008 Saddle Bronc of the Year was a tie between Cool Alley of Kesler Championship Rodeo and Blood Brother of Burch Rodeo Company.

But for all the great rides Blood Brother has carried bronc riders to, he's dashed as many dreams. Scott Johnston bucked off of the great horse in 2000 for the world title. Nonetheless, if he's ridden, it's usually a made-for-TV event. In the ninth round of the 2001 NFR, Billy Etbauer rode him for 89 points and the round win. Some remember that as Blood Brother's signature trip.

He carried Jesse Bail to a 90-point ride that earned him the crystal cup at the 2003 Pace Picante ProRodeo Tour Finale. Bail had his hat screwed down so tight for the ride that afterward, when he heard his score and pulled his hat off to toss it in celebration, the sweatband stayed on his head while the rest of the hat came off. In 2006, Dan Mortensen won Cheyenne Frontier Days on Blood Brother after an 83-point score. "I have a lot of respect for Blood Brother" said six-time World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Dan Mortensen of Billings, MT, " Blood Brother's a really good little horse, and there is really no timing with him because he's doing something different with every jump."

2006 World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider Chad Ferley said. "He's dang sure earned his keep, he's one of the top three broncs there is."

      

Blood Brother is still owned by Burch Rodeo Company and as a 14-year-old, he has been hauled to every event Matt and Chad Burch had the contract for since they began in the 1990's. Matt Burch is proud of his fourteen-year-old gelding. This year is the horse's seventh trip to the national finals. "That horse has been an all-star all his life, and that kind of horse doesn't come around every corner. They come around once in a lifetime."

After the 2008 rodeo season, he will be retired at the Burch ranch near Rosette, Wyo.

Now that he's beginning to show signs of aging, the brothers want to retire him while he can enjoy the remainder of his years as the herd elder on the ranch. "He's always been an outstanding horse, and we want him to go home and enjoy some big Wyoming pastures. He doesn't owe us anything."�

All Rights Reserved to the Artist.

Bob Coronato









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Pine Ridge 1996:

"Granddads captured Crow medicine shield"

In this scene you see a 1980's crocket bit and a 1870's shield in the same painting, You may ask yourself what's going on here?

Well... As I have traveled around reservations to the gatherings, giveaways, and dances you see newly made dance outfits and beadwork. But when you see an older item you know that it must have a story, and it has passed down through the family. A few years ago while I was at a friends, I saw a photo he had of his grandfather who was named Red Bear. He was Sioux but wearing a Crow war shirt. Since the Sioux and Crow had many years of warfare on each other, it was considered a big coupe to steal from one another. Red Bear wore it as a badge of honor for his accomplishments in warfare.

Like the war shirt, the shield is another item of great honor to steal or capture in battle.

The shield is very important to native people for two reasons. It provides physical protection, but also spiritual protection. Because of this spiritual connection, shields were not discarded like in European culture with the advent of guns. Shields today continue to be important in native beliefs. While many of the shields were not used as actual physical protection, they were carried with them, or attached in some way upon their animals. In camp they were put in places of honor or on poles to the East of the warrior's lodge. In this way the shields spiritual protection was still maintained.


The crow medicine man who had the vision and made the shield in this painting, had the "rights" to make a handful of the same shield. There have been several of the type seen in this paining that have come to survive to this day. If a shield was captured or stolen its medicine would have been in the shield itself, not the previous owner. Depending on how it was taken, it would have been held in high regard. Today on the "rez" not allot of things are passed down, but something as "big medicine" as a shield or a bundle is usually passed along from one generation to the next. Once in awhile at a dance, powwow, or giveaway you might get lucky enough to see one.

All rights reserved to artist

Bob Coronato 2009




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title "thems a bunch-a bronc stomp'n,...sun fish'n,... sons-o-bitches!"

THE END OF AN ERA



It is not the wild west of the 1890's but the rural west of the 1990's. The setting is Ridge Montana, a sparse landscape, in the southeast part of the state, with nothing more than, wind, rattlesnakes, dirt roads and big sky. This area is unchanged since the days of open range, and if you ever wanted to go back in time, this is the place.

From 1988 to 1998 the Wilson ranch, has been the host of the wildest rodeo, I have ever heard of. Most rodeos have experienced horses, and rodeo cowboys can almost anticipate the ride, but not at the Wilsons. Here they bucked three year old wild colts, that have never been ridden before. Over 50 head of the Pickrel ranches, rankest bucking string, are brought in to see which colts show potential. As one cowboy stated " It's the kind of ranch that makes you wann-a fan a bronc" And that's just what happened. It was common to see horses fly out of the shoot, roll head over heals, jump up at a spin, 5 feet in the air. Sometimes the horses just came out and looked at you, until someone would throw a hat or the cowboy started fan' n with his hat, and like the days of Casey Tibbs, Ive even seen a cowboy buck blind.

Right out of the box, these colts are snort'n, high roll'n, sunfish'n, and scratch'n high. J. D. Garrett, rookie of the year and N. F. R's Kelly Wardell are just a few that tried not to get throw'd in that fine Ridge dust. This is were real cowboys came to ride the "real bad ones." One of the few rodeos you could "get off the pavement" is the legend around these parts.

For ten year's people made the long treck of endless gumbo roads, in deep ruts, to gather their outfits, form a circle and in the grand old tradition, "Rodeo." There was a large arena with homemade bucking shoots, and not another house to the horizon, in any direction. The wind blew, the horses bucked, and about 100 people, sitting on horses, and trucks, got a glimpse of a true American sport, in its rawest form.

The rodeo lasted all day and then the barn dance lasted all night. The band played, the people danced and the cowboys scrapped, and spun yarns of last years ride and next years. But not anymore, last year they called it quits. I was fortunate enough to attend about 6 of these great spectacles. There will always be rodeo's but I'm pretty sure you wont get to see rough stock being bucked by cowboys in such a old time setting. This was the passing of an era, and maybe the last of its kind. Even though it was a small part, of the larger epic west, this is the type of event that legend is sprung out of, and some great memories for those that lived it. One cowboy, after his ride, summed it up..."I thought I got on backwards, cus I never once saw his head."
 

All Rights Reserved to the Artist

Bob Coronato

Title: " them's a bunch-a bronc stomp'n, sunfish'n, sons-o-bitches"

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Relay horses in camp, Crow Fair (2000) : "Augusts celebrations maintain the culture, in this age of incredible change."
 

Size 11 9/8 X 16 1/2

It's believed that the first organized Indian Relay Race sporting event was held in 1913 in Idaho.The tradition of the Indian Relays are the very best of team racing, and can be seen at a few select rodeos in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The World Champion Indian Relay Race takes place during the WYO Rodeo in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Crow Fair is a nearly 100 year old tradition among the Crow people. Crow Fair is held each August for the reunion of family clans, and the celebration of their culture. Though it is not intended for tourist consumption, they are welcome to attend. One of the many highlights is the Indian Relay Races. I have attended Crow fair for many years, and I'm always impressed with the singing, the races and the 1500 teepee's. The Crows fought governmental pressures to change, and as a result, its like going back in time because their culture has been amazingly preserved. Its uplifting and I look forward to it, year after year.

A race team consists of four men and three horses. After a running leap to mount the horse, racers tear around a half-mile track, exchange horses on the fly, complete another lap, switch horses yet again and speed off on the final lap. With up to seven teams on the track there is much jockeying for position. As the excitement mounts, horses are rearing, as there handlers fight to hold them in place. Fairly often, a rider will leap onto a horse's back, or get dragged down the track as they hold on and try to get back on to the horse. The rider and horses are generally painted similar in traditional war paints handed down through their family. Team members must carry the unconscious riders off the track so he doesn't get run over by the horses. Broken bones are common, as these riders display some of the worlds best horsemanship.

Around 1725 or 1730 a Crow Indian war party journeyed to the Fat River (Green River in Wyoming) and either purchased or stole a stallion horse from some other tribe and brought the animal back to the Crow camp in the Upper Wind River of what is now Wyoming. This was quite an event because the Crows had never seen a horse before. It stood as high as an elk but looked very different, with round hooves, a long shaggy mane and tail, and no horns or antlers. As the people were looking it over, one man got too close to the hind legs of the animal. It quickly kicked him, and the man rolled over into the dirt. After this incident the pals of the man nicknamed him Kicked in the Belly. In time this band of the Crow tribe came to be called Kicked in the Bellies. Today the descendants of these people live near Lodge Grass, Montana, and are still called by that name. The usefulness of the new animal was quickly realized and soon the Crow people gathered more horses. Other tribes regarded the Crow as rich because they owned so many good horses, and possessing some of the largest herds of all the plains Indians.

With the Crow Indians, as with other Plains tribes, the horse quickly became an integral part of tribal culture. Both past and present, the horse has played an especially important role in Crow religion and social and economic life.

All Rights Reserved to artist Bob Coronato





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