Charles Marion Russell's Waiting for a Chinook is a stark watercolor painting depicting an ailing cow surrounded by a hungry pack of wolves. Following the devastating winter of 1886-1887 which brought catastrophe to cattle farmers across Montana's cattle industry, there were reports of a drastic loss of cattle. Russell was sent to judge the situation by a farm owner with a cattle count of 5000. The cowboy artist sketched a starving beast, subtitling the work 'the last of the 5000' and sent it to the man. Russell's visual account of the state of a rich cattleman's cows is emblematic of his documentary style, suffused with fatalism and heroism. Choosing not to send a written account of the fate of the cattle, Russell chose to just supply the cattleman with a image.
Such was the commercial popularity of Russell's 1886 watercolor that the artist made a number of reproductions by hand to fill the market demand. Creating visions of the Western Frontier when there was great public interest, Russell offered an authentic vision of the 'wild' lands where the cowboy's and indians fought their battles. Challenging the city-based tourists of the Hudson River School, Russell's paintings were filled with his own brand of idiosyncratic drama and dynamism.
Emerging as a gifted visual storyteller, Russell had an eye for illustrative images. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, then on the edge of the burgeoning Western frontier, the artist began mythologizing his surroundings as a young boy, taking up ranching work, and painting in his free time. Swiftly earning a reputation as a gifted artist, his firsthand knowledge of the land and terrain made him an attractive figure to those who were quickly becoming fascinated by the burgeoning world of the American nation. Originally painted on the bottom of a box Waiting for a Chinook, a decade later postcard reproductions would be sold by the thousands.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Waiting for a Chinook, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Waiting for a Chinook that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.