There are moments when life unfolds and meant to be moments simply make you pause. As a new Sponsor of the NRCHA, I was fulfilling my role with a presence at the 2020 Celebration of Champions in Fort Worth Texas. Several days into the event, I was happily minding my artwork on display when Bob Moorhouse stopped by for a visit. I had met Bob in 2009 at the Best of the Remuda Sale in West Texas. Bob had just published his beautiful book of photography from his thirty five year tenure on the Pitchfork Ranch. I bought Bob’s book that day and had him sign it for me. Fast forward to 2020 and I found myself in engaged in a lengthy visit, sharing stories of work I had done from that trip to west Texas, his time at the Pitchfork and the body of work he captured through his lens. Bob quietly asked if I had any interest in looking at some of his slides. I looked at him, perplexed and in awe. I said, “do you mean slides from the Pitchfork?” “Well yeah,” he responded with a grin. I was at a loss for words, I thought to myself, is he really asking ME this? Without hesitation I nodded affirmatively with an enthusiastic “yes”! In his quiet Texas accent, he said “alright girl, I’ll be back in a few days”, and away he went around the corner. I looked around in awe and wondered if that really just happened?
True to his words, several days later, here comes Bob with slides and coverslip in tow. He promptly put the binder on my desk, pulled the coverslip out of his pocket and said, “there you go girl, how longs it going to take you to go through that?” Keep in mind this binder was at least six inches thick, I said “probably all day!” He laughed and said, “well I don’t have all day, I’ll be back”. I was dumbfounded over what has just been set on my desk, then I just got busy, taking each sleeve out carefully and examining them under the light. I was in awe at what I was looking at. I held my breath, and four hours later, I closed the binder, with my slide selections set aside. Bob returned and as the deal sealed, I purchased twenty five slides that day from Mr. Moorhouse. My disbelief was at a premium yet my sense of gratitude for Bob’s generosity and consideration choosing me, left me with nothing but gratefulness.
I drove home from Texas back into Canada with excitement and anticipation of what was to come from these images. And as the world stopped moving one week after my return, due to covid, I turned inwards and went to work in my studio. This new collection is a complete departure from my work to date. And as each painting dried and each month passed, this collection unfolded into some of my most important work to date.
This journey, this collection is motivated by the unending respect I have for Mr. Moorhouse and his contribution to the West and documenting the history of the Pitchfork Ranch. I feel a sense of responsibility here in that Bob shared his work with the world through his lens and further shared his experience and work with me. Selflessly offering his work to me as reference for the right to create this body of work. I have taken this responsibility to heart and it is my hope that I have made you proud, Bob Moorhouse. Cementing the legacy of the historical Pitchfork Ranch, Guthrie Texas through my work has been one of the greatest honours of my professional career.
I hope you enjoy the moments in this body of work I share with you all:
Bob, my heartfelt thanks to your generous spirit, your friendship, and your true Cowboy way.