When I Was a Kid

Original: 1905, Watercolor and Gouche on Paper

Towards the middle and end of his career, Russell’s subject matter became more nostalgic and reflected his early days in Montana.  Essentially a self-portrait, When I Was a Kid depicts the artist as a young man in buckskin riding his pinto Monte.  He is accompanied by the mountain man Jake Hoover, to whom Russell apprenticed for two years.

From 1881 to 1882, in the Pig Eye Basin, where Hoover had a cabin near the Upper Judith Basin, Russell helped with chores and learned the ways of animals.  In his spare time, he modeled and drew the creatures and activities he observed around him.

This painting was special, for Nancy Russell used it as the frontispiece illustration to Good Medicine, the first collection of Russell’s illustrated letters, which she published at her Pasadena home, Trails End, in 1929.

Donated by Frederic G. and Ginger K. Renner in memory of Grahm D. Renner

Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches

Material: Printed on metal with floating frame attached