Complete thumbnail view of the piece, comprised of 9 panels, with an overall size of 31" height by 27' 9" length

by Patricia Warfield
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Rodeo Fever is a 27’ long x 31” high panoramic wall mural made up of nine panels, depicting the drama and excitement of the signature sporting event of the American West. The mural is priced at $30,000.

Viewing Rodeo Fever takes time – as the pageantry of the event unfolds before your eyes beginning with the majesty of Patriotism of the grand entry right through every event as experienced through the expressions of the participants and spectators. It’s a multi-faceted scene that people are drawn to view section by section while discussing the events portrayed.

The mural’s bright colors and feeling of motion create a sense of excitement and liveliness that brightens and energizes its surroundings. Rodeo Fever’s versatile design makes it adaptable to a number of different spaces that may be otherwise hard to find solutions for. Its sheer length of 27’ allows it to be suitable to decorate a large area. By placing the nine interlocking panels end to end it could be used in a foyer, hallway or long restaurant wall or behind a bar. The panels can also be installed to go right into a corner and then branch out of it, making a truly unusual design element. They can also be separated and installed around a room in groups of two or three to give an interesting yet harmonious decoration throughout a room.

Held weekly throughout the season, in every Western city or town, today’s rodeo pits the unique skills and athleticism of the modern cowboy against the speed, cunning and power of the animals he works with every day on the range.

Just as each event in the rodeo is designed to showcase a particular aspect of a cowboy’s life from the danger and drama of the bronco and bull riding to the speed and dexterity of the calf roping and barrel racing events, so does Rodeo Fever depict the thrilling action of each of these events – capturing the cowboys and cowgirls at the precise moment when the outcome hangs in the balance – as a steer is being wrestled to the ground or a barrel narrowly being rounded at full gallop – Interspersed throughout are the antics of the circus clowns who entertain the audience as well as keep a watchful eye on the cowboys and the animals so that neither is harmed.

However Rodeo Fever is displayed it creates a truly distinctive and unique artistic and cultural statement in today’s Western interior environment.

The Making of ‘Rodeo Fever’

When I visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the first time, I was in no way prepared for the spectacle of it all. From the moment we arrived, I felt that we had walked into a world unto itself and I knew at some point I would recreate the feelings and visions of that first rodeo.

The excitement and power of that evening was mesmerizing:

Starting with the “Grand Entry,” I experienced the sense of pageantry and the excitement as I watched the cowboys preparing and relaxing before the upcoming events. The bronco event with the dirt, horses and cowboys all flying I could barely see through the dust. The majesty and power of the bulls, the courage of the riders...The danger the clowns put themselves into as they enticed the animal away from the rider….The action, motion and precision timing of the calf roping and team tying.. The barrel racing with the cowgirls so eager to display their quickness and handling of their horses as they go through the loops.

Since that first evening, I have been to many more rodeos, making many sketches, taking photos and talking to the cowgirls and cowboys themselves.

When I decided to attempt to depict the rodeo experience, I realized that rather than work on a series of small paintings, it was necessary to create an environment with a panoramic view of the rodeo in its entirety.

I wanted to paint my version of the rodeo from beginning to end, and wanted it to encompass the viewer. To accomplish this, I designed this work to be mounted into and out of the corner of a room so that standing before it you are literally surrounded. So I set up nine panels in my studio, together adding up to 27 feet.

Pastel seemed to be the perfect medium to use. They are dry pigment, in stick form that, when used layer upon layer, build to a beautiful richness and brilliance, yet, at the same time allow wonderful subtleties to develop. I added and subtracted various figures and animals to strengthen the composition as time went on, always working from my sketches from the various rodeos I saw. Many figures in the final work will be recognizable to residents of Jackson Hole as they are the actual men and women who regularly participate in the rodeos.

Three years later, I finished. My hope is that I was able to convey the action, pace, sprit and raw strength of the animal as he meets man and the beauty and excitement of that encounter!

Patricia Warfield

Pastel          31" x 27' 9"           $30,000
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