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 Wayne Baize  (1943 - )

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: western subject painting, cowboy figure, genre and animal

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Stamford, Texas, Wayne Baize is a well-known western artist who focuses primarily on the realities of contemporary ranch life.   In October, 1995, he was elected to the Cowboy Artists of America, and has received special recognition at their annual exhibitions including an award for Drawing and Media, Silver, 1997.

In 2000, he was voted Artist of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.

He inherited his love of cattle and ranching from his father, who was a cotton and maize farmer, and "who enjoyed his work more when mules pulled the plow than when tractors performed the chore."(Art of the West)

Baize began art classes in high school from Sarah McDonald, who had studied with Frank Tenney Johnson.  Western artist Tom Ryan, whom Baize met in 1968 at the 6666 ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, also became a mentor. 

As a young man, Baize earned money by working in feed stores, lumber yards, and clothing stores, but continued drawing as much as possible. 

Early in his career, he was an illustrator whose work, often in pencil, included magazine covers and illustrations for National Quarter Horse Journal, the Cuttin-Hoss Charter, Cattleman's Magazine, and Western Horseman.  Before doing oil paintings, he preferred working with black and white and colored pencils, finding them relaxing.  However, impatient with the color limitations, he began highlighting with acrylic and oil paints and then switched primarily to acrylics and oils.

In 1977, at age 39, he married Ellen Largent, whom he met while buying ranch land from her family.  The couple have three children, whom Baize has sometimes used as models in his paintings.

He and his family live on a small ranch near Fort Davis, a restored military post in West Texas.  His home is scenic, and gives him plenty of opportunity to sketch favorite subjects such as horses and Hereford cattle.  Of his life in the West, Baize said:  "If I weren't committed to being a Western artist, my next choice would be to live the life of a cowboy.  Horses and cattle have played a big part in my life and the men who handle them correctly have my admiration. . .The more I can capture in my work that special feeling and atmosphere that surrounds the true cowboys, the more value it will have in preserving America's heritage.  The challenge is not to draw a man on a horse, but to draw a cowboy on a cow horse getting the job done." (Western Art Digest)  However, he does not try to glamorize ranch life as he often focuses on the every day details of doing chores or bringing in the cattle without "glitter".

Baize has also done portraiture, something that began to happen when ranchers requested that he use his talents to portray them sitting on a horse or standing in a field as well as painting the other surroundings.


Sources:
Susan Clark, "Comfortable Cowboy", Art of the West, January/February 1989
"Wayne Baize", Western Art Digest, November/December 1986
CA Cowboy Artists of American 44th Annual Exhibition, 2009.  Exhibition catalogue, Cowboy Artists of America and Phoenix Art Museum
Artist Files of Phoenix Art Museum Library

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers:
Based in Stamford, Texas, the heart of the Texas ranch country, Wayne Baize paints a way of life influenced by generations of family ancestors that have lived and worked close to the land.  His oil paintings portray the every day routine of the working cowboy, both past and present.

Baize is the son of a cotton and wheat farmer, and his early artistic talent did not go unnoticed by his parents, who enrolled him in private art lessons from the age of twelve to seventeen.   In high school, Baize took art classes from Sarah McDonald, who had studied with Frank Tenney Johnson.

His professional career began in 1966 with his first one-man show in the lobby of a savings and loan.   It was a sell-out, and ever since, Baize has made a living from his art.  One year later, Baize met Cowboy Artist Tom Ryan, who became not only a mentor, but also an inspiration to the young artist.

Baize followed further in Ryan’s footsteps, as he was invited to join the Cowboy Artists of America in 1995, and in 1997, he was the recipient of the Silver Medal for Drawing at the CAA exhibition.  An exhibitor at the Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale held at the Gene Autry Museum, he has been featured in Art of the West, Southwest Art, Western Horseman, Equine Images and more. Baize’s work was also selected for the collection of the 2002 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show.

Baize describes his artistic style as “semi-loose” with color choices leaning toward earth tones. “I use a lot of black and gray, with an occasional accent of pure color,” he explains.  And he hastens to add that his true love in all of his paintings is the animals.  He jokes, “The only reason I put people in my paintings is to provide an excuse to paint the animals.”

Baize and his wife Ellen live on a ranch near Fort Davis, Texas.  Part of a much larger panorama, it’s a wild and rocky country where yucca and prickly pear reign supreme.  However, through his art, Baize tames the wilderness, and in doing so conveys the subtle and rugged beauty of the West Texas life he loves.

Reference:
Cowboy Artists of American publication

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Based in the heart of the Texas ranch country, Wayne Baize paints a way of life influenced by generations of family ancestors that have lived and worked close to the land. His oil paintings portray the everyday routine of the working cowboy, both past and present.

Elected to the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America organization in 1995, Baize was the recipient of the Silver Medal for Drawing at the 1997 exhibition. An exhibitor at the Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale held at the Gene Autry Museum, he has had feature articles in Art of the West, Southwest Art, Western Horseman, Equine Images and Quarter Horse Journal. Wayne and his wife Ellen live with their four children on a ranch near Ft. Davis, Texas. Wayne Bayze’s work was selected for the 2002 Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage show.

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