Parker County Today November 2016 - Page 56

PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY NOVEMBER 2016 I wanted to do something different, and I’ve pretty much been developing my style for about 14 years now.” He said his styling, which is a mix of the bold and the simple in acrylics, seem to appeal to the younger crowd and women in particular. The painter appears to be fearless when it comes to use of color. Color does his bidding. It casts his shadows and defines his highlights, making visible the topography of his West. A purple-faced barrel racer cast against black leans into a red, white and blue barrel being navigated by a live-wire blue horse with red tack and a white with green and yellow blaze down its forehead. Vibrant green mane curls about the smooth contours of an alert blue horse whose red forehead and nose bridge “yip!” in sharp contrast. A longhorn is both arresting and lovely in lavender and yellow. Gaither’s use of startling color affords the viewer a different portal through which to ponder western themes, themes no less western for the explosion of color used to express them. The “electrified” images retain the rustic or nostalgic element of Western art. Gaither works by commission but also shows his work for sale. Dec. 1-10 he does his “Cowboy Christmas” show at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. In March he spends three weeks at the Houston Rodeo. Closer to home, for the past dozen or so years the artist has been involved with the Careity Foundation, donating a painting to be auctioned off each year at the Celebrity Cutting and supplying the artwork for the charity’s programs, magazine and promotional materials. This year’s event is set for Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. His junior year, Gaither moved with his family to Dallas where he graduated high school. He earned an art degree at North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) in Denton. Then, during the Vietnam era, he joined the military. “I had an art degree, and I figured somebody in the army was doing some kind of art, so I signed up,” said Gaither. “So for three years I did artwork for the Army Recruiting Command in Alexandria, VA. I moved back to Dallas after my tour was up.” Back in Big “D” he took a job with an advertising agency and created advertising and worked in museum exhibit design. After several years in advertising he worked with an amusement park design firm in Dallas. He designed amusement park signage for venues like Six Flags and other amusement parks around the world. Gaither still lives and works in Dallas. He designs products for various western giftware companies and continues to evolve his “bootstompin’” style of cowboy art. Visit Gaither at 54