The Artist
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About The Artist - Painting a Poem

CHERYL HUDSON has followed her dreams to the northwestern Oregon countryside with her husband George, where they live on a little ranch in a valley at the foot of the coastal mountains.  They share their ranch with their horses, dogs, cats, chickens and cattle, while Cheryl pursues her two loves, art and horseback riding in the backcountry.


She grew up in the rolling hill country of southern California , surrounded by ranches, hills filled with wildlife, and the looming San Bernardino mountains towering over the land.  Immerged in a world of horses, cowboys and the backcountry, the land she grew up in shaped her loves and passions, and she developed a deep love for both horses and art at an early age.  She began riding when she was small, exercising other people’s horses, all the while dreaming of having one of her own.  She made friends with the local cowboys, who were her heroes, and sat for hours sketching them as they trained young colts and worked cows.  Artists abounded in her family, and her mother was her greatest source of inspiration, giving her a set of brushes, oil paints and an easel when she was nine and telling her to always follow her dreams.  She began a lifetime of painting, interrupted by the joys of raising her children, being a scout leader and several careers, including proposal writing for a community college system.

Her love of horses and the backcountry has broadened the scope of her painting.  When her children were teenagers, Cheryl’s childhood dream came true and she bought her first horse, a Missouri Fox Trotter who bucked people off and ran away.  She rescued him, brought him home and named him Rebel.  On one of their first rides, he bucked her off at a gallop, and then on the next ride she had to ride him out until he stopped bucking.  In time he learned to trust her, and she was soon trading pencil sketches for his training sessions with an old cowboy.  She and Rebel have

became a close team, and have ridden rapids and high mountain trails, followed wild horse herds across the desert, and helped blaze new horse trails so the next generation can enjoy the wildness of the western country.

Painting a Poem:  Inspiration for her work comes from the beautiful country she hikes and rides and from the many horsemen, horsewomen and cowboys she knows.  Cheryl finds great joy in getting to know the animals and people she paints and conveying their own uniqueness, moods and feelings through her painterly use of color and brushwork.  She has formed lasting friendships with her many clients, with whom she shares a love of animals and the western way of life.  Their enthusiasm for her artwork inspires her, and these unique people have made a tremendous difference in her life, western riders showing her new trails, showing her how to drive a stagecoach team, teaching her how to (hopefully) understand mules, sharing with her around the campfire a treasure trove of old cowboy stories, songs and knowledge, almost forgotten, and Friesian owners graciously

introducing her to the magic of their horses.  She uses sketches and photography in her highly detailed, accurate work, but most importantly, strives to convey the inner light and spirit of the animal or person that goes beyond line and shape.  She believes that her artwork should be “painting a poem,” capturing a moment in time, held, breathless, on canvas.  She has always “chased the light,” seeking that illusive glow and play of light and shadow that touches the heart and brings a horse and landscape to life.


  Loving innovation and inspired by her clients’ love of historic artwork and scenery, Cheryl has developed a technique that she calls a “Theme Portrait.” She feels that sometimes it is fun to base portraits on our dreams of a life we wished we could have lived.  The portrait of horse and rider, based on from one to six photographs, is incorporated into a background, or theme, reflecting the person’s interests, loves or dreams.  It can be the person riding in a cattle drive, exploring the wilderness or riding into a western town.  Other times she combines six to ten photographs to create a portrait, using the best photographs of the rider, their horse, and their favorite place to ride.


Later in life she met another “seeker of light” and had the opportunity to study under one of her favorite western and landscape artists and a good friend, the famous Jack King.  She has participated in workshops by other well-known artists through her membership in the Redlands Art Association.  Galleries in Palm Springs and Redlands, California , have sold her artwork, and she has done many privately commissioned landscapes and portraits of saddle and show horses and their owners.  She has been in numerous juried and non-juried art shows, including competition in the Norco Western Art Show in California .  Following their dream to move further out into the country, in 2005 Cheryl and her husband bought a ranch in northwest Oregon .  Here she is devoting more time to her artwork and exploring new themes, while she rides new trails.  Currently, Cheryl’s paintings are in Soda Creek Gallery in Sisters, Oregon and The Hawk World Gallery in McMinnville.

Although she has taken numerous art and painting classes through the years and has trained under a number of different artists, Cheryl’s painting techniques are basically self taught and have evolved into a unique blend of realism and impressionism, chasing the light.  Her first and main love is oil painting, with explorations into watercolor, pencil and mixed media.  Her expert use of light, color, detail and knowledge of animals and landscape bring her canvases to life and reflect her love of animals, the outdoors and the history of our Old West.  Her knowledge of horses and the hidden backcountry shine through the canvas with the spirit and feeling of moments lived, loved and captured in art.

All images are Copyright protected by Cheryl Hudson. Images from this website may not be copied or reproduced.
Last modified: June 19, 2007.