Oil on board, man wearing a sombrero as his donkey plods along. Great image by Guy M. Welch, nicely framed. Dated 1943.
Gu M. Welch bio:
Guy M Welch (1886-1958) was “a kind of Michelangelo of the Western Saloon. Known to be a very generous, kind and gentle man. He gave away as much art as he sold, all people had to do was like and want a piece and it was theirs. So I suppose there is a lot more of this man’s work out there, it would be fun to get some info out there and have it surface.”
Guy Welch above all else was a muralist of western scenes that he would paint in hotel bars and other businesses. He began his career in Calgary in 1926 just after the end of the Canadian Prohibition when he painted every surface in the Empire Hotel. Then he headed for Hollywood but couldn’t find work due to the Depression and American prohibition. He then went to Mexico and worked along the border from California to Texas painting murals. At the end of the American prohibition, he was able to find work in California and had a notable mural in Elko Nevada, Famous Spur Makers.
Almost all this work is lost to fire, remodelling, demolition etc, but some large canvasses remain. In fact, one was found covering a haystack on an Alberta farm and was rescued and restored. The “Desert Room” at Morongo Valley (Adobe landmark) is still adorned with his artwork. Some of the titles are: ‘Last of the Thundering Herd’, and ‘California or Bust’.
Two of his more portable paintings showed up in Monterey California and are with the Monterey County Historical Society.
Welch also illustrated two books for his son in law, Curly Fletcher (cowboy, songwriter, poet). The books are “Songs of the Sage” and Ballads of the Badlands.”
(Bio adapted from askart.com)