Nestled high in the Colorado Rockies just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park lives an artist by the name of Keeley Waters...
As a fifth generation Coloradoan, my family came in covered wagons with a herd of cattle and eventually settled and help found the town of Collbran, Colorado. I grew up spending summers on my grandparents' ranch helping with what ever needed done - feeding cows and branding the new babies, fixin’ fence on steep mountain slopes, irrigating to get water through a parched land. Needless to say it was hard work but it instilled in me an appreciation for this way of life and the grit it took to keep it, to persevere with what had to be done.
I also had time to ride the horses and herd the cattle up top to summer grazing and marvel at all the incredible landscapes before me, listen to the wind, feel the horse’s body heave while he caught his breath, and pat his sweaty neck. Watching his ears I was always alert of all the wild creatures of the land. I knew that this was the ending of an era of which I am so proud to have played a part. I kept my interest in the horses and remember my grandmother saying, “you should never be without a good saddle horse.”
I couldn’t help but become an artist, my grandmother was a carver and pastel artist, she had turned her basement walls into a beautiful mural of the surrounding mountains and had included all the animals that lived together there with them - the owl, coyote, deer, elk, pronghorn, wild horses, and many more. I stared at it in wonder and worked toward the day I could make my animals come to life as she did! I guess that is why I have stayed mainly with pastels, to honor the past that I once had, which had everything to do with who I am today. I want to beckon the viewer in with a moment captured in time, capture the light, the dust, the rust.