This is another of Denny’s good friends that he met awhile back. His name is Gene Hartung. Gene was soon-to-be 72 years old at the time of this painting. Gene lives right across the Buffalo Bill Dam near Denny. He happened into Denny’s store/gallery awhile back and Leigh, Denny’s wife and photographer, immediately asked him if he would pose for Denny. He told her a story of how Denny’s mentor, James Bama, had asked him the same question several years ago and how he had agreed to pose for James to take photos also. What a shame Bama never painted him! His loss was Denny’s gain. Denny actually posed him in the exact same clothes that Bama did, except for his shirt.Gene had a favorite saddle as a young cowboy. It became completely worn out and is now gone. Since the Bama shoot, Gene took up saddle-making. He wanted to make an exact copy of his saddle, and that he set out to do. He had never made a saddle before. As he worked totally from memory, he actually made four versions of the saddle until he was happy with the fourth one. He sold the other three saddles. One went to a buyer in England. He was so proud of his saddle. Denny just had to pose him with it!! What a thing of beauty!!
Since the painting, Gene revealed a little more about what he was wearing. He said that he had not only had made his own saddle, he made his vest, his pistol holster, his chaps and lastly his bone necklace. If you look closely, you will see hanging from the small center metal concho on that necklace is a strand of horsehair. Gene owned, many, many racehorses. His most favorite racehorse eventually died a few years back. This is a small piece from his beloved horse “Red Eagle’s” tail. What a tribute!
This piece is traditional oils on Masonite.
Edition of 150.
Original is sold.
Measures: 18″ x 24″