As a kid my grandpa had a book about the famous old west painter Charles M. Russell. For those not familiar with Charles M. Russell he is in my opinion one of the best if not the best Old West painter/sculpture of the Western United States. His depictions of Cowboys, Indians, grizzly bears, and the wild west which besides being brilliant in both detail and composition, are beautiful renditions of a short but fascinating time in American History. Charles M. Russell’s paintings depict the wild west as how it really was as an often hard, tough and unforgiving place where disappointment and sacrifice were very much a common way of life.
One of his paintings entitled “Caught Napping” is a personal favorite of mine probably because there is a moose in it. The painting done with watercolor on paper was created in 1898 tells a simple yet compelling story of a successful moose hunt. It also reveals that Charles M. Russel besides being amazing in the medium of watercolor, fully researched and understood the nature of a s moose hunt. This simple watercolor for me catches a time in history when much of the Western United States and Canada where still considered a vast and unexplored wilderness.
When I ever I see one of Charles M. Russell’s Painting I feel like I am getting a real life snapshot of a time in history when the west truly was wild.