The Fort Worth Stockyards : “She’s Been Everywhere, Man!”
Fort Worth Stockyards
Nothing embodies Western heritage better than the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District in Fort Worth, Texas. From the original brick walkways to the wooden corrals, every inch of the Stockyards tells the true history of Texas’s famous livestock industry. Between 1866 and 1890, drovers trailed more than four million head of cattle through Fort Worth. The city soon became known as “Cowtown.” When the railroad arrived in 1876, Fort Worth became a major shipping point for the livestock, so the city built the Union Stockyards and the Livestock Exchange Building, which housed the many livestock commission companies. It became known as “The Wall Street of the West.” With the success of the stockyards themselves, construction soon began on the Cowtown Coliseum which served as a grand show barn for the livestock and housed the very first indoor rodeo in America.
During the World Wars, The Fort Worth Stocktyards played a vital role. In WWI, they had the largest horse and mule market in the world, supplying military officers from Allied countries with transportation animals for the war effort. During World War II, the Fort Worth Stockyards processed 5,277,496 head of livestock, making 1944 the peak year of the entire operation. Unfortunately, soon after the war was over, the decline of the Stockyards began with the new found popularity of the cost effective trucking industry rather than the railroad. Today, you can visit the Stockyard Museum in the original exchange building and, true to its history, the Stockyards still hosts the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive. Besides the hundreds of unique dining and shopping experiences now offered while walking the cobblestone streets, The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historical District is one of Texas’ most popular tourist destinations for its beloved western history and Texas lifestyle culture.
The Road Trip:
As a native Californian, it was important for me to visit the stockyards before I could consider myself an honorary Texan on my tenth year of living in Texas. Thankfully, one of my very best friends lived near Fort Worth for a short time, so on one our visits we made plans to spend a day visiting The Fort Worth Stockyards with her! She is a native Texan and an avid lover of its history and culture so she took us to some of her favorite places within the historic district. We had a drink and stuck a dollar on the wall at The Basement Bar, the oldest bar in Fort Worth also known as the “World’s Smallest Honky Tonk.” We shopped at the wonderful smelling western wear shops filled with handmade leather goods and genuine cowboy hats. Of course, we didn’t miss out on the cattle drive!! The power of that many longhorns and horses all moving in unison is something I’ll never forget. We couldn’t begin to check out all the places the stockyards has to offer in a single afternoon, so we hope to be back soon!
I chose to paint the Fort Worth Stockyards because I feel that there’s no other place in the world that represents authentic western history as well as this iconic place. Because of its history, it was important for me to include the longhorns from the cattle drive into my painting. When I saw this blue truck and southern inspired pin-up photo taken by Trent Sherill with Trent Sherill Photography, I knew the styling and colors would set ideally into the scene I had imagined for the composition of the artwork. The detailed architecture in this painting was also very important to me, so I took time working out the design using a combination of reference photos I took while I was standing under the cattle drive sign on our trip. The bricks and small details are what make the painting come to life in my opinion! The final artwork was hand painted in Alpha 6 automotive enamels on a 12”x24” canvas.
In this post I have shown limited photos of the completed painting. The final “Fort Worth Stockyards” painting and the 9 other Americana inspired paintings in this collection will be fully revealed in person at the “She’s Been Everywhere, Man!” Gallery Show and online in April, 2022. For your chance to purchase an original piece in the collection or snag a signed and numbered print, become a “She’s Been Everywhere Insider” here, and subscribe to my newsletter!
All ten original paintings, giclee prints, posters, and postcard gift sets will be available for purchase in person and online at asphaltcanvascustomart.com on April 22, 2022!
The final “Fort Worth Stockyards ” Painting. Become a “She’s Been Everywhere Insider” here, and subscribe to my newsletter!
All ten original paintings, giclée prints, posters, and postcard gift sets are now available for purchase here!
WHAT IS “SHE’S BEEN EVERYWHERE, MAN!”:
“She’s Been Everywhere, Man!” is an innovative collection of ten original paintings, in automotive enamel paint, that depict women driving vintage classic and custom cars to some of our county’s most historic and iconic locations. The series title was originally inspired by the lyrics of the Johnny Cash song, “I’ve Been Everywhere”. After restoring my 1966 Jeepster with my dad, and traveling cross country in it with my family, I realized that America’s rich history is ONLY defined by our willingness to maintain the things and preserve the places that established our unique, cultural identity in the world that is AMERICANA! Through my art and personal story, I want to start a conversation on the importance of maintaining and preserving the things and places of our past, to inform and ultimately benefit our future generations.
My image inspiration for this series stems from WPA travel posters, old school paint-by-numbers, aviation nose art, and my own favorite photos from family road trips. You can check out these images and more over on my Pinterest.
To see more artwork and stories from this unique series of paintings just click here!