“Take yourself back to a time of innocence, when in your dreams you ride horses on the plains, conquer the wilderness of the wild frontier; be part of the posse, the Sheriff or the Outlaw…” – Mackenzie Thorpe
In this original pastel on paper, Mackenzie Thorpe shows a lone cowboy walking through the desert with his gun in hand. He’s wearing a traditional cowboy hat, red bandana and boots with spurs. In Thorpe’s signature style, he has left the face of the character blank so that the audience can picture themselves in the image. He wants to inspire the audience to remember a nostalgic time from their childhood when their imaginations could run free.
Some of Thorpe’s favorite childhood memories are of growing up in Northern England and playing American cowboys in the streets of his neighborhood. The cowboy offered a playful world of imagination and adventure. He fondly recalls watching programs on his knob turn tv that only received a few channels, one of which was American and “Spaghetti” westerns that were so popular at the time. He was inspired by characters like “The Lone Ranger”, who was a pillar of strength in his community.
Thorpe creates his artwork with the purest pigment pastels made in England. This piece is particularly interesting as it exemplifies Thorpe’s more painterly style, especially in the quality of the clouds. Many of his works are devoid of color or are more graphic compositions, however, this piece showcases his artistic abilities. His work is honest and immediate, with little planning ahead of time. He uses his hands and fingers as extensions of the pastel sticks, painting exactly what he is feeling. In this piece, he expertly blends the subtle pastel tones with his hands, achieving soft transitions between the clouds and the desert landscape.
This image has a cinematic quality as if the character has just returned from a shoot out or is heading into the fray. The sky is ominous but filled with an incredible range of red and orange tones as the clouds billow around the cowboy. Thorpe incorporates stunning blue and purple highlights in the sky to emphasize the light shining through. This is a metaphor for our cowboy as the darkest days and toughest times are now behind him and he has hope for the future.
This Mackenzie Thorpe artwork, along with several others, is available for purchase at Marcus Ashley Gallery in Lake Tahoe. With over 18 years of business and 40+ artists on exhibit, Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fine art destinations. The gallery shares a deep love for the artists that they represent, as well as the Sierras. Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of the best destinations for art collectors and Tahoe visitors to browse, learn about, and shop for fine art.