They have energy, wit, wisdom and self-awareness. They have charm, style, independence and a love of animals that goes beyond the mythic. They are the cowgirls of Donna Howell-Sickles. It all started with a postcard. Howell-Sickles came upon a 40’s-era, hand-tinted postcard of a woman dressed in wild west gear astride a big sorrel horse above the inscription, "Greetings from a real cowgirl from the ol’ Southwest." "This was a wonderful image in that the colors were printed over the black and white processing," Howell-Sickles says. "And her bright red lips were printed just slightly off-center. That quality of the real and unreal fascinated me." That postcard started the Texas Tech University graduate on a search for her own American cowgirls, ones who were strong and joyous.
“I wanted to show three ages of women, who all might be the same woman at different times in her life. The youngest on the left leans forward—she’s eager to go out into the world. The older woman on the right, while a little more cautious, values who she is and folds her arms as if to safeguard her thoughts and emotions. The oldest woman represents that time of life when we no longer seek too much attention from others; she’s comfortable being herself.”
Art by Donna Howell-Sickles
Written by Peg Streep
“Cowgirl Rising is a collection of my work reflecting both my art and my ideas about an approach to life, an eager readiness for what will happen next, an excitement at just being here and a reassuring knowledge of the strength and worth of our place in life.”
Donna Howell-Sickles´ energetic art style and rich symbolism has made her one of the "new West´s" most important and valued new talents. Now, for the first time, her vital, exhilarating images are available as a quality Greenwich Workshop fine art print and an exceptional Collector´s Edition book. Cowgirl Rising is a splendid collection of her art and ideas that explores her unique presentation of the smiling cowgirl as a new mythological figure. This handsomely clothbound and slipcased book is signed by the artist and accompanied by a signed, numbered, and deckled-edged fine art print of And the Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon.
"An amazing, extraordinary book reminding us that humanity has always
The cycle of life is celebrated by the cowgirl with full moons on her chaps and stars on her scarf, as she follows the path of the bear´s cyclical rebirth. Different cultures and myths form the tapestry of this painting, all referring to the Big Dipper—sometimes seen as a bear—and its reappearance in the night sky. The panels in the background are drawn from Micmac tradition, where the bear or Big Dipper was chased through the sky by seven hungry birds. It is the robin who finally vanquishes the bear, its breast and the leaf of the nearby maple stained by the bear´s blood. The reappearance of the Big Dipper, like the emergence of the bear from hibernation, was, to many cultures, proof of the cycle of life.