Remember the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Do you remember your answer?
For little boys, being a cowboy, space traveler or firefighter often makes the list. I wanted to be a lot of things; a forest ranger, an Indian (at age 6 that seemed possible), a detective, an explorer.
Looking back at my childhood ideas of adulthood, I see that underlying each life-description was a yearning for the freedom I wanted when I grew up. Freedom to explore, create and experience life on my own terms.
I was thinking about that life list looking at my old photos. During the era of these photos, I was living the cowboy life full-tilt. I cowboyed in Arizona, Colorado and California and at the time these photos were taken (in the 1980's) I was living at Smoke Tree Stables in Palm Springs, California and working full time as a wrangler. I was a guy in his twenties who wouldn't go anywhere he couldn't take his horse.
As time went on, I managed to continue some version of that life, raising three sons who have in one way or another lived their expression of the cowboy life. Today I'm still living the dream.
But life has a way of shaping our dreams and adding new ones to the mix. Cowboying led me to farrier work, then black smithing and now sculpting. The freedom that being a cowboy symbolized manifested for me as a life of possibilities has led me to living the creative life of a cowboy artist.