2022 Black Hills Stock Show Premier Cover Artist: David Dorsey

 My roots run deep in the state of Nebraska. In 1857, John Wesley Dorsey, my great-great-great grandfather, made the journey by wagon from Indiana to what was then Nebraska Territory near Brownville. I have always admired the tenacity of the pioneers who were able to pick up and move to an unknown land and begin a new life. The fear of the unknown must have weighed heavy on those strong individuals, but they forged ahead. I think we all have within us a desire to experience the unknown, to move forward without knowing what the outcome will be.  

My life has been on this unknown path since 2012. I forged ahead to pursue my love of painting and the pursuit of art as a career. Prior to this I spent my life on the family ranch located in the Sandhills of northern Nebraska. It was a big change to go from raising livestock and putting up hay, to working in the studio, but it has been a wonderful ride so far and it is far from over. 

Art has always played a huge part in my life. Ever since I was little, drawing and painting have been something that I have always done. In fact I cannot remember a time when I was not intrigued by artists and the work they created. That aspect has not changed; I am still mesmerized by new styles of art that I have not seen before. I will never learn all that I want to in this lifetime, about painting and drawing, and I truly believe this is a good thing. We should never cease to learn, no matter what our age.  

I am drawn to the land and the individuals that call this vast plains home. I can think of no finer calling than to raise livestock to feed this great nation, and the daily pursuit of being stewards of the land. These people, strong men and women, are truly what intrigue me as an artist. Each face has a story to tell, and their lives are so interwoven with the land that they call home. It is a never-ending tale of beautiful landscapes and hard working people that give me constant inspiration to capture images of the west, both past and present. I feel fortunate to be able to put brush to canvas and freeze a moment in time. Sometimes the simplest things in our daily routines can be the most beautiful. A horse and rider going through a sea of grass or riding through a water hole formed after a heavy rain, are truly the simple and yet magical images that I love to paint. 

I’m still not sure where this artistic path will end up, but the ending is not the goal, it is the journey itself. I know there are many more images of the west left to paint, more faces with wonderful stories left to tell, and good cowboys and cowgirls that need to be captured on canvas for all the world to see. I am truly lucky to be an artist and look forward to the road ahead and all of those paintings out there just waiting to be painted. As for the unknown, here I come, paint brush in hand! 

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