Cowboys, cattle, weary travelers, and Indians are some of the subjects encountered in a solo exhibition of Gary Lynn Roberts’s Western paintings.
Gary Lynn Roberts was born into a family with the artistic gene: His father, Joe Roberts, was the owner of a successful sign-painting business. “For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was be a painter,” Roberts recounts on his website. “My dad had been bitten by the same bug in his youth, but in the 1950s and ’60s, you couldn’t make enough money to support a family as a fine artist, so he built a sign-painting business while establishing his reputation as a Western painter.”

Gary Lynn Roberts, “Spooked,” oil, 24 x 36 in. (c) The Legacy Gallery 2015

Gary Lynn Roberts, “Afternoon Gone Bad,” oil, 16 x 20 in. (c) The Legacy Gallery 2015

Growing up in the rural town of Channelview, Texas, and following in his father’s footsteps have proven to be all Roberts needed to launch a successful painting career — well, that and immense talent. Today Roberts is represented by a number of prominent galleries across the country, including The Legacy Gallery in Bozeman, Montana, which is hosting a solo exhibition of Roberts’s work beginning tomorrow, September 11.

Gary Lynn Roberts, “Taking the Lead,” oil, 24 x 20 in. (c) The Legacy Gallery 2015

Featuring 10 paintings, the body of work is a virtuoso display of Roberts’s acute sense of composition, color, and narrative. Each painting seems to tell a silent story that has neither a beginning nor an end, existing in a timeless bygone space ripe with nostalgia. “A Cold Night Coming” is one such outstanding piece, representing a traveling group of three Native Americans on horseback in the final minutes of a winter sunset. With the aid of the title but more tangibly through the cool tones, one can nearly get chilled to the core viewing the piece. However, the waning glow of the sun burns like a fiery beacon in the picture, its intensity balancing the entire composition. The subjects bask in the warm light, soaking in the dying rays.

Gary Lynn Roberts, “The Return,” oil, 36 x 50 in. (c) The Legacy Gallery 2015

Another captivating tale is told in “Spooked.” Approaching the viewer from the center left of the canvas is a line of cowboys on horseback. Three men and five horses have begun their weary trek across a mountain river. A violent storm rages all around the travelers, the pouring rain captured in vivid clarity. The tension in the animals is palpable, with one of the lead horses struggling to keep its composure as a crack of lightning strikes in the upper right. Down river one can faintly discern the outlines of a cabin, the smoke rising from its chimney and a low glow emitted from a small window.
“Gary Lynn Roberts: One Man Show” opens on September 11 and will be on view through September 20. An artist reception and art walk will take place on the 11th between 6 and 8 p.m. at The Legacy Gallery.
To learn more, visit The Legacy Gallery.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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