: “I love the old west and I go to that artwork. It takes me into the painting like I’m actually there.” – C.R. Sadler
WHEATLAND – For the past two years, famous local western artist C.R. Saddler has created a new rodeo poster for the local rodeo brought back to Wheatland after a 25-year hiatus.
The rodeo will be held July 30 at the Platte County Fairgrounds and will be a part of the 2022 Platte County Fair.
“It’s a GREAT pleasure & enjoyment of mine doing these Rodeo posters knowingly that i have been doing Rodeo Art since i was 5-years-old. This watercolor was titled Saddle Bronc, which is this year’s Wheatland, Wyoming, Rodeo Poster. i decided to have one of my pastel art works of 25-time World Champion Super Star Ropers Trevor Brazile along with 4 different Rodeo pencil drawings of mine.
This saddle bronc drawing limited edition is signed along with also a limited edition signed Wheatland Rodeo poster will be awarded at this year’s NFRODEO in December Las Vegas at the WORLD Benny Binion Bucking Horse & Bull Sale.
“Its my pleasure to see that Wheatland Rodeo is once again here and i hope it continues,” Saddler said. “Last year was a great performance and attendance was outstanding.”
There are only 50 limited edition signed & numbered rodeo posters of the 2022 edition.
“I have been working on a medium size master piece oil painting and I have been to some of the largest museums in the world with this oil painting and I hope u get to see it one day. It’s amazing. Lots of detail & palette knife work that comes out of the picture 2 inches casting shadows on the painting.”
It’s Saddler’s imagination of " Buffalo Hunt" 1800s here in WYOMING.
“I have some photos but this is a commissioned piece and can’t share it yet it’s going to be shown on National Platform.
Saddler said that he has been doing rodeo posters for many years in an old western style vintage look.
“Well, when i first came here to Wheatland approximately six years ago, i was surprised to see there wasn't an open or County Rodeo here,” Saddler said. “The next year i went to Amy who worked for the County Extension and was told that it was very costly to put a Rodeo together.”
Saddler did some checking on his own to see what possibly could be done to host a rodeo here in the future but he was new to the area and didn’t have a lot of contacts.
“I learned there was the High School Rodeo here so i decided to do a Wheatland Rodeo Poster to help support them,” Saddler said. “It’s my favorite sport its truly an enjoyment of mine to create pictures. I was surprised to hear Wheatland was working on putting on an open rodeo and when I found out it was going to happen i started making a new Wheatland Rodeo 2021 Poster “
No one knew that Saddler was making the posters.
“I traveled to seven towns and cities in Wyoming and four places in two other states, Montana and Colorado posting this Wheatland Rodeo,” Saddler said. “I was later asked to show my Art at last year’s Wheatland Rodeo.
The crowd for the rodeo was somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 people and far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
“I was impressed to see the crowd who came out to support this Rodeo in Wheatland,” he said. “Rodeo people are some of the best patriotic Americans. I thought this RODEO was very good and I hope Wheatland has another one next year.”
Pen, pencil or brush in hand, world-renowned Sheridan born western artist C.R. Sadler, 68, is passionate about his craft and has been that way since the age of five. He’s ridden a lot of trails since he sold his first sketch before he was enrolled in school.
He is also an encyclopedia of Wyoming history and lore. To hear him spin a yarn or tell a story with the precise passion that he paints with is certainly a wonder to behold.
He most recently did a pencil drawing of John B. Kendrick, the ninth governor of Wyoming. In this collage of Kendrick’s life, he draws events that not only shaped his life, but the history of Wyoming.
“In this collage, it has his life and people affiliated with him,” Sadler said. “It even has the cabin that he and his wife lived in for eight years while they were building their mansion, “Trail End,” in Sheridan. I knew Manville Kendrick (John Kendrick’s son) and I was a chauffer for him and he gave me some treasures before he died and he said that he hoped that someday I would paint or do a piece of artwork of his father who was a U.S. Sen. and a Wyoming governor.”
Sadler said that although that was many years ago, he said that it takes time to get these things done.
“Year pass,” said Sadler. “But I did it. I decided to do this drawing and I went on a trip last year to where I lived in Yellowstone National Park with my grandmother. We lived above Fishing Bridge.”
From this point, Sadler begins to go back and fill in the blanks as to how he got to the place of sketching Kendrick.
“I sold my first painting when I was 5-years-old in Yellowstone Park,” Sadler said. “I called it, ‘The Moose Chase,’ and sold it to a forest ranger for $5. He gave me $5 and I thought he was nuts.”
Sadler’s grandmother who owned a ranch in Big Horn pretty much raised Sadler when his parents were having some personal problems. According to Sadler, she was the cook for the head superintended of Yellowstone National Park. He also occasionally lived with his aunt and uncle who was a forest ranger in Mammoth, Wyoming.
“While staying with my grandmother when I was five, I was supposed to stay around the cabin,” he said. “But you know how most kids are, and I decided I was going to take off and I didn’t realize how dangerous it is. I ended up getting chased by a mother moose and she had a baby. She chased me up a tree and I was up the tree for a long time. She took off, I thought, but she saw me coming back down that tree and she came back and chased me back up there. She did that two or three times.”
Sadler eventually escaped, got lost and finally ended up in Fishing Bridge. It was not too long after that he sketched his adventure and a ranger who happened by loved it and offered him $5 for it. The rest, Sadler will tell you is Wyoming history. His career had started as an artist.