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According to Donald J. Hagerty, “During the last several years of his life, Maynard Dixon created a series of watercolors documenting the contemporary ranch life around Tucson and other areas of Southern Arizona. Although seriously ill, these watercolors represent some of Dixon’s best work in this medium. Subjects for the watercolors were drawn from excursions to ranches tucked away in the Rincon, Tortolita, Santa Catalina, and Tucson mountain ranges. A favorite location was the annual Indian fair and rodeo at Sells. Edith Hamlin, Dixon’s third wife recalled he would watch the scenes, whether at a rodeo or just sitting in his car, then quickly make some pencil sketches for later translation into watercolors back at his studio-home. Often guided by fellow painter Pete Martinez, Dixon and Hamlin made the rounds of local cowboy culture, looking for the color and excitement of cowboy activities. Dixon showed he could still be a master of the watercolor medium with their organization of space and fresh, clear colors. According to Hamlin, if Dixon showed them in local galleries like the Ronstadt Gallery, Tucson Center of Arts and Crafts and others they sold immediately. Perhaps more important Dixon was losing the battle for his health, in the past year and a half of his life, tethered to an oxygen bottle that helped counter the effects of worsening emphysema. Watercolors were less taxing physically than working in oils and they could be created at his studio-home.”

PROVENANCE:
Private Collection, Wyoming

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