A Handshake is Enough: The Cowboy Way Through Art and Poetry 

Paintings by Marless Fellows; Written by Leslie V. 

Bay Available at Saddleupgallery.com 

Painter Marless Fellows is the real deal. A true child of the West growing up in Arizona, Fellows follows in her family’s footsteps, living The Cowboy Way. From barrel racer to brush strokes, this one-of-a-kind woman and book brings real life to the canvas with her vibrant colors and the quill pen of renowned cowboy poets.

The 112-page hardbound book brings to life 36 images that dance in the mind of this celebrated artist. During a two and a half year timeframe, every two months, Fellows submitted two to four of her painting to cowboy poets across the country, asking them to present poems written specifically for each of her paintings. As the poems came back to her, Fellows picked the poem and poet she felt told the story of her art and represented the Cowboy Way like no one else could have done. During that two-year period she also worked with writer Leslie V. Bay to chronicle her life from child of the West to woman of the West, bringing it to the pages of her book.

According to Fellows, “My goal is to portray what life was like as that American Cowboy of yesterday. A lifestyle of days gone by that can’t be preserved as it was, yet one that I can share, symbolized through my art, and that of the poetry contained in this book. Paintings and poetry heighten the impact of each other. For me, it also allows me to understand that same life through the written word. My aim is to intertwine the two, sharing the strength of the cowboy soul and lifestyle through my art, and that of the cowboy poets’ interpretation.”

Fellows’ family history, one of hard working cowboys, dates back to 1917 when her grandfather, an untamed cowboy, was drafted into the US Cavalry as a bronc buster. That family history lived on through her father, who also was in the military but returned to the cowboy way of life, where he and his wife would teach their daughters to preserve and cherish that lifestyle.

According to Fellows, “My grandfather and my father would regale me with their stories of the Old West. It taught me that the Cowboy Way was one of strength, muscle, vigor and endurance, mixed with honor, integrity, humor, a good story, and a love for the wide-open spaces. Bringing those stories to the canvas will safeguard and defend the history of the working cowboy, giving you a glimpse of the past and one of the present. I look into the eyes of the rugged, weathered, leathery faces of the modern-day cowboys that I paint, the stories that those faces carry with them, and I know my Father and Grandfather would approve.”

See a sample of the wonderful poetry and artwork from the book by clicking here. 

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