"Josie and the Outlaw" have become the central figures in our "Women of the West" series. Here's a little back story of how it all began.....
Josie is the character that grew from a dream to create a leather carving with a figure that expressed a strong female in a high action pose. Several years of looking at photos led me back in history to a leather carving by the late F.O. Baird. Mr. Baird was a supreme leather artist who saw a need for leather pattern and design inspiration. He published a book titled "Design Artistry" in 1955. This book contained pages and pages of design ideas and patterns for floral carved leather, as well as an image of a male bronc rider that became the basis for our character. His design expressed the movement and action that I was looking for. While not a line for line copy, my "Josie" character was based on Mr. Baird's original drawing. Adding my own details brought her to life in my own style.
Adding color to the carving brought out the finer details, and added another layer of life and movement.
The "frame" for the picture was created using many of my favorite elements in my own leather carvings. Sunflowers have been one of my favorites to carve, and they lend themselves well to the addition of color. I find myself drawn to the use of a gunmetal engraving style of scroll with many of my flowers, and especially like it in a corner design. The triangle border is simple, yet strong enough to balance the busy corner elements. The tall saguaro and prickly pear cactus add a touch of Southwest feel to the scene.
Everything was brought together with the help of design graphics wizard Hailey Dixon of Design Daily Studio. She can magically transform my leatherwork into a wide variation of graphics that we use on all sorts of printed items.
Hope you enjoyed this little story!