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 Roger Ayres  (20th century)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: western landscape, figure-cowboy

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Texas Trail Saddle
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from The Taos Gallery Scottsdale

Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ayres paints western subjects from first-hand exposure to western life. He spent his childhood on a farm near Gruver in the Panhandle of Texas and then worked as a foreman on a ranch in Nebraska. He reminisces about the camaraderie among cowboys and the open hearted, warm sharing that characterizes isolated rural communities.

However, from earliest childhood, he wanted to be an artist. "I enjoyed drawing horses and cattle, and I was good at it. And those animals never complained about the likeness." When he gave the woman who owned the Nebraska ranch a painting, she said: "Why on earth are you cowboying for a living when you can do something like this?"

Reportedly this incident caused him to commit seriously to his artistic talent, and he enrolled in a drawing class but had to travel sixty miles each way to attend. Previous to this time, from 1975 to 1979, he had been sculpting and painting when he served in the Air Force. In 1982, he pursued a bit and spur business and became recognized as one of the best spurmakers in the country. But he continued to find a greater love in his artistic pursuits.

In 1990, he and his wife and two children moved to Santa Fe where he began painting and sculpting full time, although he still finds time for his hobby of making saddles. His friendship with well-known New Mexico cowboy artist, Tom Lovell, has been exceedingly helpful because Lovell saw special talent in Ayres work and directed him to first rate instructors including himself, Gary Carter and Joe Beeler.

A sculpture project of Ayres is replicating in bronze miniature authentic western trail saddles of the mid to late 19th Century and early 20th Century. Ayres interest in saddles stems from his ranching experiences where he became a master saddle maker.

His sculpture series, called "Notable Saddles of the American West," is representative of the evolution of the cowboy saddle that began after the Mexican vaqueros, who learned to make saddles from the Spaniards, who in turn, introduced their saddles to Texans. First in the series is the "Texas Hope Saddle" of the mid 1840s and last historically is the "Swell Forked Saddle" of the 1920s.

Each of the saddles is representative of a part of Western History and also reveals the tremendous talent of a man whose hands-on, real life experiences underlie his paintings and sculpture.

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