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Donna Howell-Sickles
Studio in Saint Jo, Texas

Photos courtesy Howell-Sickles Studios
If there wasn't a Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth - Donna Howell-Sickles' art might've made one necessary.

The following is reprinted from Donna Howell-Sickles' bio for a lecture in early 2006 from the North Central Texas College, Gainesville, Texas.
Donna Howell-Sickles' "Friends  in Good Standing"
"Friends in Good Standing"
Donna Howell-Sickles said her lifelong fascination with the cowgirl image "all started with a postcard." In her last year of college at Texas Tech, she acquired an old postcard from a friend that featured a 1930's-era cowgirl seated on a horse and captioned: "Greetings from a Real Cowgirl from the Ol' Southwest."

"The image spoke to me and I had no idea why," she said. "Although I had grown up on a farming-ranching operation in Texas, we never really thought of ourselves as western." But she "surrendered" to the attraction and began using the imagery in her own art. The richness of her work developed over the years along with her research into the lives of real cowgirls and a deepening love of the wonderful mythology surrounding them.

"The cowgirl has become my icon for women in general," Howell-Sickles said, and I'm using her to portray someone of warmth and humor with whom to laugh."

In the beginning in 1972, she said, her image of the cowgirl was that of the old postcard - "a wonderful, fake, glamorized image, something someone just made up."

"By 1979, I had learned of the real cowgirls from the rodeos and Wild West Shows of the 1910s and 1920s. " "Their loud bright costumes and eccentric lifestyles fascinated me." "My work from 1979 to 1984 used the cowgirl with little or no facial features, with the intention of projecting a general western persona - not a specific person."


"As my work is now progressing, the cowgirls are expressing more joy, friendship and self-esteem, and they need more specific personalities and facial features."
Donna Howell-Sickles' "Welcome Home"
"Welcome Home"
Donna Howell-Sickles' "All the Pretty Horses"
"All the Pretty Horses"
Donna Howell-Sickles' "Girl with the Goose"
"Girl with the Goose"
Donna Howell-Sickles' poster - "Keeping Out the Bears"
"Keeping Out the Bears"
Donna Howell-Sickles' poster - "Pal-O-Mine
"Pal-O-Mine"
Howell-Sickles has had more than a dozen one-woman shows and was named the featured artist at the American Woman Artist Show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. Her works have also been prominently featured in exhibits at the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.

Ms. Howell-Sickles currently resides in Saint Jo, Texas.
Donna Howell-Sickles' studio exterior
Donna Howell-Sickles' studio  interior
Donna Howell-Sickles' studio
Article and Photos Copyright Donna Howell-Sickles

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