This oil painting is titled Tom Mix – Hell Bent For Leather 1928, which features the famous silent-era movie cowboy star, Tom Mix. This piece will be included in the TRAVELING THE WEST ART SHOW & SALE in Dallas Texas in October 2015. The photo of Mix that I used as reference was an old black and white with Mix on his Henderson Motorcycle taken in 1928. It was most likely taken where he lived in Oklahoma. The famous Henderson Motorcycles were manufactured in Detroit from 1912 until the coming of the Depression in 1931. The Henderson was used by many police forces in the country because of its speed. Its powerful four cylinder engine could out run anything out there, car or motorcycle at the time.
The classic bi-plane in the background I chose is a famous 1928 Boeing Army 100/P-12 which now resides in the The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. It is capable of speeds of up 170mph! I decided it was most appropriate to paint Mix and the Boeing racing through Monument Valley, Arizona.
An important side note of why I picked Mix is that he was born in Mix Run, Pennsylvania on January 6, 1880, a few miles away from where I grew up in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania. The little town of Mix Run is located near the city of DuBois. For years you could look down from the Rt. 144 highway and see the old foundation of his original homestead which burned down many years ago. Funds were raised not long ago to rebuild the house and create a Tom Mix Museum there. My Mom, Elaine, a Mix fan as well, donated a couple pieces of baby furniture to the cause. One other 1928 connection is my Mom, Elaine who was born that same year is why I’m dedicating this painting to her. Love you Mom!!
I wanted to tell you a few more facts about Tom that I thought are worth mentioning. Tom was one of the pallbearers at the funeral of Wyatt Earp. Back in the day, someone had written that they actually saw the tough hearted, Tom Mix wiping away a tear. Tom died October 12, 1940 in Florence, Arizona while driving his now famous pale yellow, custom Cord Phaeton convertible. His small, metal makeup suitcase flew up from the back seat on impact and hit him in the back of the head. Witnesses on a construction site, who he was trying to avoid hitting, said that he actually jumped out of the car after it stopped like he was just fine, to fall over dead a few seconds later. Lastly, probably my most favorite album is The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It appears that the Beatles were big fans of Tom Mix as well. His cutout graces that very cover with all the other who’s whos.
The painting is traditional oils on museum grade Ampersand Gessobord Masonite. This took a total of 100 plus hours to complete.
Signed and numbered prints available. Edition of 150.
Original is sold.
Inquire today about purchasing the original. Call 307-899-2052 or email
Measures: 24″ W x 18″ H