I see this print everyday – multiple times a day, even. It hangs on the wall above the printer in the Quarter Horse News (QHN) office in Fort Worth, Texas. As QHN Art Director, I print a lot. But even though I see “Slicker Reunion” so often, I never tire of it. I always see something in it I didn’t see the day before.
My favorite parts are the faces of the cowboys. The man in the slicker that faces away from the viewer must be telling an amusing story; the snickering smiles on the cowboys’ faces are evidence. I also like the damp reflections in the ground below the horses and riders. There’s something about the light the artist manages to capture in paint that appeals to me. The overall color pallet makes me feel the dreary nature of the day, the kind of day I’m actually fond of when they occasionally happen here in Fort Worth.
While I’m waiting for our old printer to warm up, I stare at “Slicker Reunion” and enjoy those few moments. It’s not a spectacular moment in time. To the best of my knowledge, the scene isn’t a particularly historical moment in time, but it represents one of hundreds of thousands of moments that happen in the daily lives of cowboys. For me, it’s a reminder that even in the ordinary day-to-day activities we live through, there is beauty. It reminds me to try and enjoy those simple things and share those moments with my co-workers. Camaraderie with the people we live and work with every day is a huge part of our lives. At QHN, we may not be sitting horseback in the muddy rain, but we manage to tell some pretty funny stories anyway.
R.S. Riddick is the artist. Now a resident of Tucson, Arizona, he grew up near Los Angeles, where his art director father encouraged his natural ability for art. His skill was refined in courses he took at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After a few years working as a commercial artist in his own graphic design firm, he enrolled in a painting course with Russian painter Sergei Bongart. After learning from Bongart and with a love for the Western way of life, he was inspired to move away from commercial work into the world of fine art.
Riddick moved to Arizona where he could capture the true nature of the West and the cowboys who live it. Among his many artistic honors, Riddick was inducted as a member of the Cowboy Artist’s of America in 1997. He’s traveled the world to expand his painting ability, but he and his wife always return to their home in the Southwest U.S., where Riddick continues to paint.