Western Art Week: From Canvas To Auction Block - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Western Art Week: From Canvas To Auction Block

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Yesterday, we looked at the creation of a piece of western art, but once that paint is finally dry on the canvas, it's got a journey to take, whether it's to the namesake Charlie Russell Museum or to the auction block, the artist is along for the ride.

"Preparing for the auction, it's quite an ordeal.  I start usually in January and try to get 35 paintings done so it's about 3 or 4 a week," said Steve Oiestad, Western Artist.

This artist is a pro when it comes to the Western Art Week Auctions and has a pretty good idea of what will sell.

"This is my 25th year anniversary at the Heritage Inn, so I kind of have an idea of what people are looking for and what sizes they're looking for, so I kind of shoot for that," said Oiestad.

It's an honor to have your pieces hang in the Russell Museum before the auctions, so the artists have to start early and put in some hard work.

"You never know really if you're going to get in or what's going to happen, so just preparing for that, trying to do the best piece you can, that's about all you can do," said Oiestad.

When it's time for auction, there are plenty of familiar faces vying for the best pieces.

"Well, there are people, collectors, who do come back year after year and on the opening night, over at the Heritage Inn, which is usually a pretty big night because people like to get first choice on the new paintings," said Oiestad.

After doing events like quick-draws for twenty five years and becoming a veteran, there's always a laugh remembering that first nerve-wracking time.

"I had never done it before.  The gun went off and I went up to start drawing on a little person's eyes.  My hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't do it.  So I just had to start with some bigger space.  Anyway, Art in Action, we now have three hours to complete a piece of work and it's much more relaxing.  We get to visit with people," said Oiestad.

When it comes to Western Art, it all boils down to one name…Charlie Russell.  And tomorrow, we're going to take a little break from Western Art Week where we look back in time at the man who made it all possible on his 150th birthday.

 

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