Wednesday, December 06, 2006

National Finals Rodeo

I'm not a cowboy by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to watch rodeo -- especially the PRCA National Finals. We travelled to Las Vegas Nevada to see a couple of nights of the ten-night NFR Rodeo with two of my cowboy mentors, Lyman and Kelton Hafen. It's been a tradition for us since the rodeo moved from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas in 1985. Lyman and his dad got me started riding horses in the 80's. I got my first quarter horse, Ben, from them and I was fortunate to help with the spring and fall cattle drives on their Nevada Ranch at Clover Valley. That's where I first met a young kid named Cody Wright, who has competed in the finals the past four years and won first place in saddlebronc last night. Here's a picture of the four of us at the NFR.

Photo of Roland Lee with cowboy Cody Wright, Lyman Hafen, and kelton Hafen at the National Finals Rodeo in 2006

Left to right: Kelton Hafen, Cody Wright, Roland Lee, Lyman Hafen

I also enjoy spending some time at "Cowboy Christmas" a huge trade show at the LV convention center. It's a great place to see lots of wonderful western art and sculpture.

Best of Show Cash Award

Painting of fisherman fly fishing
Nellie and I travelled to Mesquite Nevada for an awards reception for the "Lucky 13" International Small Works Competition. I was notified that I had received "Best of Show" with a cash award, which is always nice. It is a very unique art show in that all paintings must be smaller than 13 inches in any one direction including the frame. My painting, "Fisherman" is a tiny 5 in. by 5 in. transparent watercolor of a fly fisherman. It is not only one of the smallest paintings I've ever done, but certainly the smallest I've ever had accepted into a juried competition.
Roland Lee with Best of Show painting of fisherman at Virgin Valley Artists Lucky 13 International Small Works Competition

Roland Lee receives Best of Show award at Lucky 13 International Small Works Competition