ARTIST | PHOTOGRAPHER | TRAVELER

FLASHBACK: ROY ROGERS and HIS INFLUENCE ON MY WORK

 

At an early age, my interest in drawing began and I illustrated; Cowboys, Indians & characters from the Sunday comics. It was in the sixth grade that a friend asked me if I had ever drawn a real person, I had not so I gave it a try. Some of the school tablets we used had western stars on them, mine had Roy Rogers, no better place to start than with the “King of The Cowboys”. Once, I took that step there was no turning back; drawing realism had just become my favorite subject. I was hooked.

Fast forward to 1994, I find myself with my son James, friend Sally and daughter Bridget, attending the 60th Anniversary of The Sons of the Pioneers in Tucson, Arizona  (the last gathering of the original members).  But for me there was a special reason for that trip. At the request of good friend, Fred Goodwin, I had just completed a drawing of Roy, Dale, Trigger and Bullet.  The drawing had been accepted to become a new print and Roy wanted to meet me.

The morning we were to meet, Roy and Dale came into a private room at the hotel restaurant. After breakfast, James graciously serving as my photographer , and I were escorted in to meet with Roy and Dale. Roy invited me to sit down beside him and I looked into his eyes, which appeared to be twinkling stars. Emotion overwhelmed me and tears started to run down my face. He was talking and I could not seem to get any words out of my mouth. I felt like my whole life was floating by.  I found myself sitting with the very first person I had ever drawn that ultimately put me on the road to my career as a portrait artist. It was all too surreal.  We had a nice visit and he told me how much he liked the art, saying “it was the best likeness he had ever seen of himself.”

On Saturday November 5, Roy Rogers would have been 100 years old. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet him. He gave us countless movies, television shows, songs and the Sons of the Pioneers.
Below, I share with you some of the art of Roy and the only three pictures to survive that day.

Thanks Roy, and “Happy Trails to You.”

3 Comments
  1. Hi, my name is Lee, I am a 100% disabled veteran from the Vietnam war. I will be 65 years old in October 2016. I live in Springfield, MO. I was impressed with the large picture you did or Roy, Dale, Trigger, and Bullet. You have an amazing gift. I saw a copy of your picture in the IMAX theatre in Branson, MO. I really wanted to purchase it, but, just was not able to. I am on a shoe string budget these days like many folks, however, I was curious to know what a print unframed may cost? The Roy Rogers show erred on television when I was born 1951. I never had the pleasure of meeting Roy and Dale. They were a part of every household that loved to watch spaghetti westerns. What an honor for you to have talked with them in person. Not sure you will receive this email, if you do I just wanted to say the Lord has blessed you with an amazing gift, and I’m sure that you have touched many hearts. THANK YOU! respectfully Lee Morris “Happy Trails, and may the good Lord take a likin to ya.”

    • Hi Lee. Thank you for your nice comments. Yes you can get the black and white Roy print for $40 and that includes shipping. Happy Trails to You!

  2. If I wanted to sell a copy of “Kings of the Road” what kind of price should I put on it? Would appreciate some input on this. As Lee stated Happy Trails

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