Santiago’s History of
Western Painting

After copying cartoons from TV, I started copying cowboys and horses from storybooks and horse magazines my Pop brought. Lived out in the woods on a ranch for a while, horses and some heifers, some milk cows, goats, pigs, chickens, the whole country thing, pet deer, rabbits and so on. My brothers were bigger, they were the wild Indians. They could also draw. I was too small to follow them, but I copied them in drawing. Liked to put action in these drawings, then watercolors. Oil came later. Action made the drawing live. Frederic Remington and Charlie Russell early favorites, copied their horses and cows, way of drawing. Lots of Will James from a book called Smoky the Cowhorse. He lived here in New Mexico for a while. I liked Roy Rogers, Noah Beery, Buffalo Bill, and all the old-timers. Westerns still good movies today. Painted a lot of westerns, still show them in a gallery in Montana.

Most of the paintings show a lone cowboy, the original tough man, individualist. Cowboys did a lot to create that myth of the rugged type, able to handle himself in situations. Moreover, the artists and Wild West promoters took the type and made him into an American icon.


El Rancho de la Viejilla
(me, looking at my boots, my two older brothers, my uncle)