Cowboys, Indians, and More!
*** ALL TEXT AND IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF RUSH COLE. NO PART OF THIS WEBSITE MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC, OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPYING, RECORDING, OR BY ANY INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM RUSH COLE.
***"Gallery-Wrapped" describes images on stretched canvas painted on all four sides, making additional framing unnecessary.***
"JACK & WYLIE", 30" x 30", Oil on canvas, Gallery-wrapped and framed.
Copyright Rush Cole
"THE BALLAD OF JACK & WYLIE"
*I was out riding in the Catalina Wilderness, just outside Tucson, Arizona one warm January afternoon, when I rounded a bend in the trail and spied this magnificent jack rabbit a few feet away. The low-hanging winter sun was lighting up its ears like stained glass and I was instantly intrigued by the creature. Reining in my horse, who was quite fine with pausing in our ambles, he went all hip-shot and sleepy-eyed within moments, which was perfect for my purpose: no hoof-stomping or jingling of tack to frighten away the wild life.
As motionless as the sizable hare, I studied the creature. After a short while, with a subtle flick of its wonderful ears, it signaled permission for me to be in such close proximity, comprehending that I was not a predator. Then, with a slight adjustment in the angle of its head, the jack returned to watching the meadow beyond the thicket of tangled brush where it was secluded. I watched, too, while my horse drowsed under me.
Only a couple of minutes had elapsed before the coyote appeared from my right periphery, its eyes and nose tracking prey. The jack instantly turned into a statue of stone, although it didn't appear frightened by the sight of the carnivore. The hunter was visibly intent on whatever it was tracking, turning this way and that during the next few minutes, and beginning to double-back repeatedly as it excitedly picked up stronger evidence of its intended meal.
Startled, I watched as the coyote began literally going around in frenzied circles, its nose pressed closely to the ground, giving tiny yips as it imagined closing in on the hunted. It was about that time I realized that the jack rabbit had slightly angled its head my way, one eye peering directly at me, while pointing with its ears at the hopelessly confused coyote.
If jack rabbits can grin with satisfaction, that is exactly what that particular one was doing; intimating how it had cagily laid down a series of trails, one over the top of the other, knowing the coyote was following it.
Had the two of them engaged in this "game" previously? Might they have even grown up in the same neighborhood, aware of each other's existence while still too young to know that one of them was predestined to always run away from the other?
These thoughts and more poured through my mind as I watched the malarkey for at least twenty minutes. At last, I nudged my horse with a gentle heel and we meandered quietly off down the trail, leaving the two wild denizens of that desert landscape to their afternoon shenanigans.
*A note about this painting's Provenance and framing: "JACK & WYLIE" was selected by the Women Artists of the West (WAOW) for a national annual exhibit in Lincoln, NE. Although the painting is gallery-wrapped, with the image extending around all four sides, making additional framing unnecessary, in order to hang in the museum show, it needed to be framed. With that in mind, I fashioned and hand-finished a shadow box frame that would allow the 3-diminsional, architectural qualities to also be visible.