On the left is another new painting from my Bluegrass Series: Red River Valley (Click to enlarge)
This painting was a commission from a fellow artist I met in Oquawka, Illinois while performing and displaying my art at Henderson Trail Days this Sept. She wanted a 12" by 16" reproduction of this painting for her father.
I knew there was a Red River in Canada that some people believe the song was based on. The Red River I used was the one on the Texas Oklahoma border. This is the Red River I envisioned because to me the song is about a cowboy that loves a cowgirl and the Texas region would be the place for the setting.
The Red River Valley was a hit country song for Riley Puckett in the 1920s. I'll go into the details and history in my next post.
This is my first "western" song painting in my series and that was a challenge in itself. The theme was fairly simple yet difficult to convey. She is leaving the Red Rivey Valley and the "cowboy that loved her so true." I needed to have an authentic cowgirl with her horse and the cowboy looking watching on his horse. The background needed to be the Red River Valley.
Here are the lyrics (bottom left-center) that I used from two old versions of the song:
RED RIVER VALLEY
From this valley they say you are going,
We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile.
For they say you are seeking the sunshine,
That will brightened your pathway for a while.
CHORUS: Come and sit by my side if you love me,
Do not hasten to bid me adieu.
But remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy who loved you so true.
Won't you think of the valley you're leaving,
Oh how lonely, how sad it will be?
Won't you think of the fond heart you're breaking,
And the grief you are causing to me.
I have waited a long time, my darling,
For the words that you never would say.
And at last all my fond hopes have vanished,
For they tell me you are going away.
Next blog I'll go into the details of the history and more about the painting.