Working on Western Note Cards Today…

westernsketchstationary I’ve spent much of today at my desk with pen and paper restocking my “Six Shooter” card inventory. Western note cards are quite fun to draw, and it makes the perfect work setting for me to listen to the great Mary Robbins cowboy songs.  Each card is unique, entirely hand drawn in ink, and takes quite a lot of detail work, which in turn takes quite a lot of time.

I’m working on more this week so my shelves will be filled with plenty of cards soon, so if you were wondering why the stationary disappeared, you can stop worrying, it’ll be back.


(P.S.  Manly western stationary makes a great gift for any cowboy loving fellow. So if you are on the lookout for Father’s Day gifts check out my shop for great western note cards. There are some other really great cards on on Etsy for your man even if he isn’t a western fan, just search for what you’re looking for, make a purchase, and you’ll have accomplished several things at once: first off, your father will have some masculine writing tools at his disposal, secondly, you will have supported small business entrepreneurs, and thirdly, found a quality gift that is a step above the mass produced regular stuff…)

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“Mountain Fortress” Cheyenne Episode Review

Cheyenne“Mountain Fortress” is the pilot episode for the Cheyenne TV show, the footage where Americans met Cheyenne Bodie for the first time in 1955. Cheyenne made history by being the very first hour long western show on TV.

Clint WalkerThe show starts with Cheyenne (Clint Walker) and his side-kick Smitty (L. Q. Jones) on a map-making trip through hostile Shawnee territory.

Enter the stagecoachThey are stopped at gun-point by a group of stage-coach thieves who are heading for the Mexico border to get out of the country, after just one more robbery…

Mountain Fortress #1They have one problem: they need a guide who can help them traverse the dangerous territory.

Mountian Fortress #2

Manson, the head bad-guy, offers to pay Cheyenne to guide them, Bodie declines, and things are starting to escalate when suddenly a stagecoach under attack by Indians tears across the desert below. All the men rush to defend it, each for his own reason: the strong box full of gold or to save the lives of the passengers.

#1Inside of the wrecked coach is a lady Joan Carter, who was on her way to a fort to meet her fiance, a Lieutenant in the army. As soon as the two survivors, the driver and Joan, are discovered, Manson pulls a gun and shows his true colors. Taking all of them captive.

Bob WilkeA simple situation becomes complicated when an army patrol, and then Indians, both chase the group.


They get trapped up on a rock; their mountain fortress.

#2That’s when the a few of the classic western elements that make this such a grand genre start to figure in, in the shape of clashes of character, moral tests, good men vs. evil men, honor, integrity, selfishness, greed, fear, firepower, and courage.

#3The personalities and true character of the men are developed, and things get interesting.

Robert WilkeAnd here I stop, so I won’t spoil the story.

Some of the good old actors of TV westerns show up in this first episode: James Garner, Robert (Bob) Wilke, the ubiquitous John Doucette, George Wallace, Rush Williams, Phil Rich, Jeff Silver, Peter Coe, and Ann Robinson.

As usual for a pilot western, it has a slightly different feel than the rest of the shows as all the actors are just settling into their new roles, and there is no regular pattern developed yet.

The show was made by Warner Brothers, and had a larger budget than some of the early 50’s TV westerns, so the music, cinematography, and on-location filming have a lot of influence on the show’s quality. And it was filmed in glorious black and white!

What do you think of Cheyenne? Have you seen this episode? Which episode is your favorite?

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Quote From The Virginian…


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A New Board On Pinterest Today


Howdy folks! I started a new board on Pinterest today that is going to be filled up with gift ideas for western aficionados! I’m starting off with a few of the ideas from my list last Christmas season with much more to be added! As I said in my Christmas gift idea post

“While shopping for gifts for the western fan the same old ubiquitous coffee mugs and John Wayne calendars pop up everywhere from Wal-Mart to Hobby Lobby and Tractor Supply. While those make good gifts sometimes, one can only use so many cups and calendars a year! Not to mention that most of us would really prefer to support small businesses, steer clear of mass-produced cheap goods, and seek out a more meaningful and lasting gift that is unique and thoughtfully chosen. There is also the aspect of quality to consider.”

That sums up most of what you will find on this board: items that are something beyond mass produced goods. Vintage items from the actual golden days of yesteryear, items from small businesses, and a few quality DVDs and CD type products that are outstanding.

I’d love to hear your ideas of grand western gifts that fit that description! Leave a comment below!

Posted in An Artist's Musings | 2 Comments

Glenn Ford Quote


Glenn Ford was a great actor. What’s your favorite western film of his?

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Happy Birthday James Drury!

JamesDruryPortraitJames Drury is 82 years old today!  He acted in many things, but is best known for his role as the foreman at Shiloh ranch in The Virginian TV show (that is the role he is pictured in in the portrait above). I grew up watching him in Pollyanna (he’s also in Disney’s Ten Who Dared), he was in many other films and western TV shows, including playing small roles in The Rifleman, Cheyenne, Gunsmoke, and the little know show Black Saddle.

Why not watch a Virginian episode tonight to celebrate his birthday? Which episode would you recommend? Do you have a favorite?

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Quote From “The Big Valley”…


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The All-American Cowboy Grill~Review

Last week when I reviewed The All American Cowboy Cookbook, I mentioned that it was one of the two select cowboy cookbooks that I found worthy enough to keep on my shelves. This, The All-American Cowboy Grill, is the other.

It is made by the same two folks who wrote the other book (Ken Beck & Jim Clark) with the added help of Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, the daughter of Roy Rogers. In many ways it is very similar to the first book; it’s chock full of photos, trivia, and of course loads of recipes of the western heroes that are sure to delight any western aficionado.

There are a few differences between the cookbooks, two of the greatest being that this book has a greater emphasis on outdoor grilling dishes, and that the indexes are far better in this book. One index that they added in this book that is so helpful is an “Index of Cowboys” so that you can easily look up all of the recipes by a certain actor as well as by the type of dish or name of the recipe. It is very helpful when you’re trying to fix supper in a jiffy, and are hurriedly flipping through 212 pages trying to find a Dale Robertson recipe that you can’t remember the name of… 🙂 It saves so much time!

Despite the word “Grill” in the title and the greater emphasis on that sort of recipe in this book, there are still plenty of indoor cooking recipes in the book for those who don’t grill. The recipe chapters of the book are:

Early Stages (Beverages and Appetizers)

Riding Shotgun (Salads, Vegetables, and Side Dishes)

Branded Meals (Main Dishes for the Grill, Barbecue Pit, and Smoker)

Maverick Meals (Main Dishes for the Indoor Cookstove)

Campfire Kettles (Soups, Chilies, Stews)

Bronco Busters (Barbecue Sauces, Marinades, and Relishes)

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ (Breads)

Gold Rush (Desserts)

There is a great line up of contributors to this book, many of the same actors that delighted me so much with their recipes in the other cookbook. Of course, just as in the other cookbook there are a couple folks (and their photos and recipes!) that I don’t care for and I wish their space was given to my favorites instead, but nonetheless this is a great cookbook and well worth owning for any western fan!  One of my favorite recipes is Cheyenne’s Favorite Summer Dish (p. 22) by Clint Walker (actor in many films and starred as Cheyenne Bodie in the “Cheyenne” TV show).

Do you have this cookbook? Which recipes have you tried? Have you made Cheyenne’s Summer Dish?

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John Wayne “Hondo” Quote

JohnWayneQuoteThis quote is from “Hondo” the 1953 western.  It’s John Wayne’s rather curt and disgusted reply to Lieutenant McKay, who suggested that, due to changing circumstances and the type of person Wayne gave his promise to, he ought to break his word for safety’s sake. Wayne’s response is one of my favorite lines in the film.

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Happy Birthday Johnny Crawford!

Johnny Crawford The Rifleman

Today, 70 years ago, Johnny Crawford was born. Pictured above in my portrait in his most famous role as Mark McCain (son of Lucas McCain on The Rifleman TV show) he won over Americans across the country with his excellent acting, portraying one of the children that grew up quickly in the harsh world of the western frontier. Funny, witty, compassionate, full of a strong sense of justice, and trying to be manly and responsible like his father, he stole the scene in many a show.

Why not celebrate his birthday tonight by watching a few episodes of The Rifleman?

Happy birthday Johnny Crawford!

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