In this Mackenzie Thorpe original pastel on paper, a larger than life cowboy stands with his guns drawn at his sides. He’s wearing a red bandana and a long dark coat, a signature to Thorpe’s style. His western hat, boots with spurs, and denim blue jeans are all classic elements of cowboy attire. This piece is part of Thorpe’s ongoing cowboy series that he tends to revisit as it gives him a feeling of nostalgia and a sense of wonder.
This piece was likely inspired by Marshal Matt Dillon in the television show “Gun Smoke” that began in the 1950s and ran for over 20 years. The character tries to prevent lawlessness from overtaking Dodge City, Kansas. The show grew out of a long-running radio series of the same name.
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, adventure, and escape for him. He fondly remembers watching the American and “Spaghetti” westerns that were so popular at the time on his knob turn tv that only received a few channels. The cowboy is a pillar of strength in his community, something that Thrope aspired to be.
The quality of clouds in this image exemplifies Thorpe’s artistic talents in a more painterly style. 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, as seen in the clouds and desert landscape, achieving soft transitions. The urgency that he draws with allows him to express and capture the emotion he is experiencing at that exact point in time.
This captivating and charismatic Mackenzie Thorpe artwork is available for sale at the Marcus Ashley Gallery in Lake Tahoe along with several others from the series. The cowboy is a perfect fit with the western aesthetic that can be seen in our region. Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fine art galleries, situated in Heavenly Village’s bustling shopping district. The gallery has been locally owned and operated for 18 years, providing luxury customer service, as well as any recommendations for upcoming community events.