Artist: Dwayne Davis, 2007
Funded by: Communities in Bloom, City Vacuum, Paint Depot, City of Wiliams Lake in recognition of Doug and Floris Martineau
Communities in Bloom asked Dwayne to paint a ranch scene, and he wanted to depict an old-fashioned branding. Dwayne painted from photos he’d taken years ago at a Dorsey Ranch branding. The scene reminds him of Texas Fosbery’s Ranch, by Lee’s Corner out west, a place Dwayne spent a lot of time as a child. Dwayne says if it weren’t for his first horse Knothead, an $85 gift from his father, he would have been a cowboy. Fortunately for us, Knothead lived up to his name and Dwayne got so frustrated with the horse that he chose a career in the arts instead. Dwayne says these days only the small ranches brand like this and that, for the most part, the whole branding culture is gone. The modern ranches tag their cattle on the ear. This ranch scene is inspired by the Dorsey Ranch by Anahim Lake in Tsilhqot’in territory “out west” along highway 20. An old fashioned “branding” is taking place, where cowboys heat the branding irons in the fire and seer the cattle in the spring. The boy sitting on the back of the truck is Dwayne as a child, enjoying the company of a ranch hand he remembers that always found time to play guitar and tell stories when there was fencing work to be done.
The texture and shape of the wall dictated the mural design. On the left where the wall is high subjects are close to life-sized. On the right, where the wall is shorter, subjects are receding into the distance. Dwayne and Steven spent a lot of time painting the ranch’s ground, working to achieve the illusion of it falling back. The wall had been freshly stuccoed which made painting in textures quite challenging. Dwayne’s son Steven helped by painting the trees and the ground.