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Charlie Russell and His Characters

Andy Thomas

Many call Andy Thomas the "Storyteller" and if you have ever had a chance to view his work you might just agree. Currently he is telling many stories with his action filled western art. These pieces are bringing the cowboys back to life as well as the American West history. In the past, Andy has painted many subjects from a picnic by the river, kids playing sports to a brutal bear fight. All of his paintings end up telling you, the viewer, some kind of story of our lives.

Charlie Russell and His Characters


Charlie Russell and His Characters


21 x 28 Paper Print

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Andy Thomas painted this piece specifically for the 2008 C.M. Russell Museum Show and Auction. The painting (a 36" x 48" oil on canvas) sold for a record $180,000 at auction and was the "talk" of the show. Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was active in the bidding, but failed in his attempt to have the winning bid.

Just as Russell is well-known for the narrative in his paintings, Andy Thomas is highly esteemed for his storytelling. This piece is a particularly good example. Charlie Russell shows off his newest creation to friends at his favorite watering hole, and his friends, all character themselves from an assortment of Russell paintings, crowd around to admire, and maybe critique, his work. 

THE TIME is the mid 1890s before Russell married Nancy. At this time, he often sold or traded his paintings to the saloons. When married, Nancy put the artist on a new marketing path.

THE PLACE is the Mint Saloon.

THE COWBOYS faces and clothing were taken from many Russell paintings.

THE WOMAN came from the watercolor, "Just a Little Pleasure"

THE INDIAN shows up in several Russell paintings including "Joe Kipp's Trading Post.

THE CHARACTER ON THE FAR RIGHT was the shooter in his painting "The Tenderfoot".

The bartender did not appear in any Russell paintings, but rather makes his first appearance in this Thomas painting.