This week I decided to go to an art museum for the first time in my life. I went to the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas at Austin campus. The museum is very beautiful inside and what I liked the most is how the rooms for different art work set the moods of the paintings that were inside. It had a great flow from room to room as well. All of the lighting in each room was different as well which helped set the mood and feelings of the paintings and their themes. The second story contained a section of mostly western and country themes as well as a couple others.
But one painting in particular caught my eye. The painting was The Lead Steer which was painted by Tom Lea in 1941. The detail and color amazed me. The method the painter chose was Oil on Canvas. The amount of contrast and detail makes the picture stick out more than the others around it. It takes place in the old western days and shows the rolling plains of Texas with a herd of cattle and one loan cowboy on his horse. The main focus of this picture is towards a beautiful Longhorn which seems to be leading the heard.
It has a linear perspective that gives it great and shows the size of the herd of this leader. The detail decreases with each other longhorn going towards the back of the herd giving it the depth in between the animals. The texture adds a great deal to this painting and is also what amazed me the most. With using the oil on canvas he created texture in key places that really gave the painting a “real-life” appearance. Lea gives the main Longhorn the most detail with the texture he creates.
He used the texture in places like the folds of the skin and also the hair in between the horns which really brought out the amazing detail and “real-life” look to it. Also the heavy contrast of the painting gave it a very sharp appearance. The colors that Lea used were mostly warm which gave it that old time western feeling. The warmness of the oranges and reds really matched the painting with its scenery that was set in a very dry and arid dessert. It helped give the feeling of the hot dessert to the viewer of the painting. I feel like I really connected with this painting and the meaning that the painter had behind it.
It highlighted the leader in the pack and which is what mostly connects me with this painting because I have always been more of a leader than just a follower in the pack or herd in this painting. With the main longhorn being the focal point of this painting I think that it brings out the nobleness and courage that it takes to be a leader in such a huge pack. There is also a cowboy in the picture that I believe serves as maybe the mentor of that one longhorn, because all great followers usually have one mentor or someone that helped show them the courage and what it takes to be that leader.