“Give me land, lots of land, under starry stars above.
Don’t fence me in.”
-Robert Fletcher and Cole Porter
These lyrics are imbedded in the face of this bull above the eyes. I have sung these lyrics my whole life. I first heard Roy Rogers sing them when I was a kid. I would watch his black and white movies and escape to the wild west. In 2020, I felt the need to escape as well. I wanted freedom. Ironically, due to forced activity, I probably spent more time outside in early 2020 than most years of my life. Even though my body was active, my mind felt fenced in.
Sometimes fences aren’t real.
Sometimes fences make borders
Sometimes you want a fence until you need to cross it.
“Let me gaze at the moon until I loose my senses
Don’t Fence me in.”
Sometimes you get fenced in by doing the same thing, thus the introduction of the UFO into the painting. The UFO idea had been percolating for years. I felt the need to add to my cow mythology. Cows and UFOs just seem to go together. The beam of the UFO is comprised of clippings from two classic novels, Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey and Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. Books have always been an escape for me. Science fiction was my genre but my step-dad got me reading westerns. They are not that far apart.
Gunfights happened in the old west because people would put up fences and others would cut them down. Usually, this is where the hero shows up. I like heros.
I also read a lot of comics (see other post.) Comics were an escape for me. As I got older music was an escape for me, especially punk rock. The symbol on the shoulder represented The Avengers and Anarchy.
There is also a bird (hummingbird/Thunderbird), a Flag, the play off the rebel symbol from Star Wars, and lots of faces, some intentional some by accident.
The “Free” in the sky just appeared. It wasn’t planned. Three of the letters just formed during my process. Once I saw it, I had to add the fourth. Sometimes free just happens. Especially in the west and in the stary skies
Acrylic on Canvas