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Heroes of the West, 1988
Oil on canvas, 26 x 24
Private collection

Gjertson’s favorite models are his family and friends. When the artist was a student, Richard Lack told him that he paid his children for posing. Gjertson also follows this practice and his children have earned a fair amount working for him. This is a painting of his youngest son reading a cowboy story to his horse, an incident that the artist observed one evening. During a Saturday morning painting session, while four-year-old Andrew was posing, the young model sat for a long time with an intense expression on his face, obviously in deep thought about something. Suddenly, he looked up at his father and stated in a very serious tone, “I’m doing this for the money, right dad?” After careful deliberation, he had concluded why he was in the studio posing on Saturday morning instead of in the living room downstairs watching cartoons with his brother and sister.

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