Wyo Artist - Bailey attributes masters, sculptors for influenceWritten by Madeline Robinson
Bailey attributes masters, sculptors for influence
Cheyenne – Artist Brandon Bailey started his career in art thinking he was going to be an art teacher, but when he took a painting course in college, he discovered that becoming a professional artist was his calling.
“I started getting into some art shows, and before I knew it, I was so busy with those that I couldn’t finish school,” explains Bailey. “I started doing art professionally about six years ago.”
Bailey is a native Wyomingite, and he incorporates his experiences being outside, with Wyoming’s wildlife and hunting into his paintings. He also rode bulls in college and have been around the ranching lifestyle, which he represents in his artwork as well.
“Those experiences give me the passion to paint those events and scenes,” he describes. “The wildlife in Wyoming and growing up hunting with my dad has been a big part of my paintings. There’s just that lifestyle in Wyoming that is
hard to explain.”
Bailey has also traveled to New Zealand and, recently, Africa to view the wildlife, depicting them in his paintings, too.
Bailey mentions the act of painting itself has always been a challenge, and he continuously tries to improve with each painting he creates.
“I’m always trying to grow and learn as an artist,” comments Bailey.
He states one of the rewards he receives from his painting and art is it gives him the ability to travel and visit places he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to travel to.
“The best reward I’ve had with my art is the travelling and new friends we’ve made along the way,” he says. “My business plan is to be the best painter I can be and just to let everything else fall into place.”
He continues, “My main focus, more than anything, is to push myself, and it can be kind of hard sometimes. Especially when I’ve spent so much time on a piece, I’m never satisfied because I’m always trying to get better. That’s always a challenge that I face. I love it enough to keep doing it but hate it enough to try to get better.”
Bailey prefers to use oil paints for his art because they leave a timeless quality to the paintings.
“The first year I was in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Art Show, I used acrylic paints. Then, my Dad and I went to a museum, and I saw the oil paintings with their big textures and brush strokes and the richness of the colors. When I went home, I threw away all of my acrylic paints and picked up oils,” notes Bailey.
“I said to myself, ‘I guess I’d have to learn how to use oil paints,’ and I have learned by trial,” he states. “I still make mistakes everyday, and I just try to get better with them.”
Bailey mentions he likes to paint with a lot of texture, varied brush strokes and randomness, all of which can be achieved with oil paints.
Bailey has been to the Western Art Show at the Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) for the past four years. Recently, one of his pieces was picked to be the limited edition print for the 2015 poster for CFD.
Other shows he has attended are Calgary Stampede’s Western Artist Showcase, Safari Club International’s Annual Hunters Convention, Art of the American Cowboy and the Southeastern Wildlife Expo.
Bailey has received numerous awards for his artwork, including the People’s Choice Award at CFD in 2012, where one of his pieces was also picked for the poster. He was also the premier artist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 2014.
When asked what advice he would give to fellow artists, Bailey says, “Don’t let anyone tell them that they can’t be an artist. That was advice I was given throughout my whole career.”
“Aspiring artists should do the best work they can do and paint because they want to paint and love it,” he adds. “The money and all the rest will follow. Never give up and always stay positive.”
Bailey further notes that young artists can learn from people criticizing their work and then try to apply what they have said to improve on their work.
Most importantly, Bailey notes he appreciates all of the support he has received through his journey of being an artist and with his artwork.
Bailey’s artwork can be found at the various art shows he attends, as well as at galleries on the western U.S. and on his website. Giclees of Bailey’s artwork are available for collectors.
Bailey has collections exhibited in Canada, Africa, Europe, New Zealand and all over the U.S. from California to Florida.
Other than drawing on his own background for his inspiration, artist Brandon Bailey likes to visit museums and study artists such as Monet and Renoir to gain ideas and new methods of painting for his artwork.
“The best teaching tool for me is going to museums and seeing original oil paintings first-hand of some of the old masters,” states Bailey. “I just try to get in my mind how they did a certain color or brush stroke. It’s a slow process, but I’ve been able to apply something new to every one of my paintings.”
He adds, “The old masters have been very influential. I always worried if I idolized somebody too much and their work, mine would come off looking like theirs. By using some of the older techniques and applying those into my western work, it creates a unique feel.”
Bailey notes that sometimes his new brush strokes and use of color works well in his painting, and sometimes it doesn’t, but after experimenting with some of his new techniques, they become part of his repertoire.
Some of Bailey’s other mentors for his artwork have been sculptors and bronze artists, particularly Chris Navarro and Joshua Tobey.
“These guys have pushed me to develop my style and have been very influential for me as an artist,” he says.