Thursday, December 2, 2010

Meet rancher and beef cattle artist Amanda Raithel

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Registered Angus farmer and fine arts graduate Amanda Raithel was the featured artist in November 2009 on Cow Art and More. Amanda farms with her husband and daughter on their Nebraska ranch. Amanda's artwork centers around the show cattle business she and her husband have dedicated their lives to.

Picture credit: Amanda exhibiting in the parent showmanship class at a local county fair.

Why do you draw?

In a nutshell, I draw because it presents a challenge to me. A new drawing is a chance for me to showcase the skills I have developed and uncover new ones that are emerging. Furthermore, I love to hear the emotional response that my drawings merit from my viewing public.

How do you decide what to paint or draw?

I like to choose subjects that make my viewer think, "Wow, I know exactly what she's talking about." Most of my work centers on universal feelings that are felt by cattle producers and performance horse people.

How long does it take you to create the average painting or drawing?

Depending upon the size, 5 to 15 hours.

How did you get started?

As with most artists, I had a great teacher. In secondary school, I learned I had the necessary eye and determination to make good artwork.

What is your technique?

I use prismacolor colored pencils and graphite to created multi-layered pieces. The element of value, which is the difference between light and dark or shading, is what makes my artwork interesting. I use many, many shades of light and dark to make my drawings come alive.

Where did you learn your technique?

Like I spoke of earlier, I had a great teacher in High School. He taught me the fundamentals of drawing. Upon entering college at the University of Missouri, I honed my skills by practice.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I'm inspired the environment around me. I am completely surrounded by cattle and horses. They are what I know and what I love, they inspire me everyday.

What else do you do besides your art?

I work full time on a registered Angus farm called Herbster Angus Farms. My husband and I manage 200 momma cows. We also do a bit of team roping on the side when the cows are content.

What would you like to do more of in the future?

I'd like to work on a bigger scale and do more horse pieces in the future.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

  • Work hard and practice.
  • Find a niche market.
  • Don't give up when you are rejected; art is subjective, and a champion of your work may be just around the corner.
  • Try new techniques and talk to your peers in art whenever possible.

1 comment:

crystal.cattle said...

I always love Amanda's pieces. Thanks for featuring her.

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