Cowboy Artist Captures the Old West

By Eric Olson

December 17, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 1:40 PM EDT

MENTONE, Indiana--“I grew up watching Roy Rogers and all that of course,” says artist Robert Hudson. “I always loved horses and the west and stories of my dad about how beautiful it was in the west.”

Robert Hudson’s love affair with the west has lasted a lifetime, taken him through stints as a rodeo rider, Idaho rancher and, finally, as one of this country's finest painters of the Old West.

“I just love the personality of the people that settled the west,” Hudson says. “We have no idea in today's world what hardship is, but those people had hardship.”

Robert Hudson’s known hardship, surviving grueling Idaho winters, feeding livestock in 12 feet of snow. It’s why he admires the grit of the men and women who survived the challenge of the west, flourish in it today. And why they are his favorite subjects to paint. His scenes are big, like the west, with harsh light and bright colors…everything larger than life.

Hudson’s art hasn't come easily..he's color blind for one..was told by teachers when young that he had no talent. But succeeding when told he'll fail has become a way of life.

“I decided I want to be a combination of mountain man, cowboy on a ranch in Idaho, artist. And I achieved all that. When I get into the mood and I get into my western themes, paintings…I want to wear my hat again I want to wear my boots again. I want to smell the sweat of a horse.”

You can do all that by just getting lost in Robert Hudson’s art..it's all there, life in the great American west…the mountains, the men, the struggle….even the sweat of a horse. Eric Olson out in Your Country.

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