Lucchese first met Mike Capron on a recent trip to Nickel Creek in Salt Flat, Texas. We wanted to capture the cowboy way of life for our new photo series and Capron was able to provide us with an alternate perspective. A real cowboy turned artist, Capron uses memory drawing and traditional pen and ink techniques as a mode for translating the scenes and events of West Texas ranching onto paper.
Capron was born in Ottawa, Kansas with a passion for “riding and roping” yet, had always craved a formal art education. It wasn’t until he was drafted in 1965 when he was given the opportunity to partake in a true art education course, in which Capron learned the long-standing technique of pen and ink sketching and drew inspiration from artists such as Harold von Schmidt and Norman Rockwell. During this time, Capron’s passions began to expand into “ridin’, ropin’ and paintin’” – a personal motto that you will often hear Capron recite. After serving in the Marine Corps for three years, Capron met Anne, a woman with whom he shared a love for the outdoors and ranching way of life. There was an immediate connection between the two and in 1969, after just three dates, the couple wed. A year later, they moved to Salt Flat, Texas.
Capron will always be a cowboy, however his love for art has allowed him to create a new life of drawing and painting while continuing to partake in the daily ranch duties on the open range. When asked about his allure to West Texas and Nickel Creek, Capron responded, “I have a great passion for space. The most precious commodity that people will chase is space.” Capron is now rooted in Sheffield, Texas where he works out of his own art studio, all while remaining connected to the open and spacious landscape that is West Texas. We were thrilled to have Capron make the trip back to Salt Flat, a trip he makes often, to sketch some of the activity going on in Nickel Creek.
To learn more about this charismatic cowboy and to purchase some of his original artwork, visit www.mwcapron.com.
Capron sketching Guadalupe Peak in his traveling, truck-bed studio.
Capron’s memory drawing of the same bucking horse scene, shown here as a pencil sketch.
A preliminary monochrome sketch.
Portrait of Travis's paint.