Artist Matt Tumlinson has several pairs of cowboy boots. But his most prized pair are the ones he bought when he was 19, in his hometown of Early, Texas. He wore them all over Europe when he was studying there.
“I got to see a lot of things that I never thought that I would get to see,” Tumlinson says.
That experienced helped broaden his perspective. He thinks more critically about things now, including about firearms, and he incorporates that view in his artwork.
“I just saw my view her about firearms … not necessarily becoming more black or white, but just becoming more complex and nuanced,” he says.
He makes a “brass canvas” with used pistol shell casings, then paints on the top of them like he would any other canvas.
Tumlinson also paints murals, and likes how more people get to see his work that way than with his studio-produced pieces. He’s painted 12 murals so far in the small West Texas town of Rankin – population 600,
In his old boots, he’s done mundane things like sweeping floors, and also creative and adventurous things like art and travel. He wants that combination of experiences to come through in his work.
“You look at it and go, ‘This a lot of different things being told just in that one image,'” Tumlinson says. “I think about my boots that same way.”
Written by Caroline Covington.