ROLL, Okla. (KFOR) – The tubes of acrylic paint are still cold from the winter season.
Gary Leddy squeezes hard to get in on his palette in an old Nazarene church he turned into his own gallery and studio, which is next to his house, and only a short walk from where he grew up along the Canadian River.
“Back down here about 2 miles east and 3 miles north,” Leddy says.
He remembers sketching things as a 5-year-old. Leddy figures it had to be a car or pickup truck. He was crazy about them for a while.
But he learned to branch out over time, to draw his surroundings, the 3 houses his grandmother lived in, and the stories she told about them.
“A painting needs a story,” he believes.
He started painting frontier towns, ranches, and always the seasons. Gary works on 3 paintings at a time now and they are never small.
“I need a larger canvas,” he explains. “24×36 for a landscape to get the horizon in.”
His winter landscapes take in the white of snow, and the harsh shadows cast on it, both peaceful and bleak.
To Gary, every scene is a story he’s heard or is trying to tell. This winter no different, not as harsh, no surprises.
“We didn’t get a late freeze to mess things up,” he says.
Spring means greener paint. As the weather warms, both paintings and sculptures reveal new life, the adventures of working cattle, and cowboys on the ranch.
“I kind of study them as I go along.”
There is danger here too. Gray smoke and orange flames color some of his canvases that tell stories about range fires.
His little gallery beside a lonely highway is a lot of things including a place to look at art.
It’s his story on canvas and bronze, pictures of life frozen in any season to treasure for seasons to come.
To see more of Gary Leddy’s art go to his Facebook page here.