Holland The Artist of American Legends
Stephen Holland Paints John Wayne

John Wayne Comanche Tracker painting by Stephen Holland
Before Clint Eastwood curled his upper lip, Kirk Douglas squinted into the noon sun, or Henry Fonda stared down a six-shooter, there was the one true cowboy of the big screen. Every genre has it's one defining hero that sets the archetype. No matter how many follow in their footsteps, none will fill the boots that made them. In the case of the great American Western, that can only be John Wayne.

Stephen Holland's celebrated career has been defined by his remarkable ability to capture the fundamental essence of iconoclasts like Wayne in a single portrait. Beyond this, what really has defined Holland's unmatched talents, is his ability to present our hero's in the same way we romantically picture them in our collective memories.

Holland knew that this painting in particular would end up being a stand out. As he chose to use the inspiration of one of his favorite John Wayne movies. Little did he know how much this was going to drive his artistic passion, until he dove deeper.

The film turned out to be based on the very real story of a young frontier girl in Texas who was kidnapped by the Comanche Indian tribe. Her uncle (who would be played by John Wayne a century later) along with a posse set out to find her. This search went on for well over two decades. By the time they found her, she was thirty-four, had married the tribes chief and mothered three children. Their son Quanah Parker, later grew up to be the most fierce and last of the Comanche war chiefs. Eventually their legendary leader in peace.

Holland embraced this true and amazing tale behind the movie. He used it as a driving force in this work. He even included an actual portrait of Chief Quanah Parker in the background.

John Wayne painting by Stephen Holland
Each piece in the series is a unique and individual art piece, that has been hand worked by the artist himself.
Another emblematic feature that distinguishes the special work is the horse John Wayne is riding. Amongst the many subjects that Holland has become distinguished for painting, horses are a very significant one. He has often been commissioned in the past soley for his special talent at painting these wonderful animals. Along those lines, he has painted the portrait of a Kentucky Derby winner. However, this is the first work he has produced that incorporates a great example of both his painting of horses and celebrities.

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