When I started this piece, my daughter asked me why I keep painting cows. I'm wasn't sure other than the fact that I sold the blue cow and the purple cow is hanging in my kitchen. (My husband won't let me sell the purple cow!) A few days later, I was writing my artist biography. I am trying to find a sells rep for my giclee prints, so I am working on a packet of information. Any way, I found myself, as many people do, starting with my roots. Here is what I wrote:
"Tracie is a Texas artist who lives in Rhode Island. She is a Seventh Generation Texan! She primarily grew up in Lubbock, TX, located in the Texas panhandle. Springtime was abundant with sand storms with skies hued by the native red dirt. And, yes, there were tumbleweeds in the streets--at least my street, because we lived near a large open field. Oil pump jacks lined the highways. One of her major sensory memories of Lubbock is the stockyard aroma on hot days when the winds of the plains would swoosh it into the city. Not the most pleasant smell, but definitely a memorable one!"
I guess that rich aroma of those West Texas stockyards had more impact on me than I realized. The cow represents home to me. Skies that glide along forever. Dust devils dancing in the fields. Soul shaking thunderstorms with lightening to rival any fireworks display. Cicadas' songs on a summer night. Red clay dusting my boots. (Yes, I even wore boots. Pink ones, in fact.)
I know it is an overused cliche, but it rings true for my cows: "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl." Which is probably why my daughter calls me a "Yee-haw Momma."