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Craig Bergsgaard

I am a Western artist (bronze). www.CraigBergsgaard.com. There are several sub genres inside of western art, Native, ranch, rodeo, etc. My non-Native area of interest has evolved into more of a romantic image of the west portraying the free spirit along with the struggle and hardship that usually accompany independence.

I am 60 years old and grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, so I am asked constantly "Where does this stuff (ideas) come from". To be honest, until just recently, I had to ask myself that same question. I am currently in the early process of producing a book (pictorial) that will put me in a "fantasy" where I find myself in a 1870s-ish scenario. Upon hearing a Sons of the Pioneers' song "Cool Water" on the radio the other day, I had what was certainly an Epiphany of sorts. Immediately, I recalled hearing and playing that song in my childhood bedroom. Keep in mind, this was 50+ years ago in a struggling household where 7 kids where being raised on a 30 head of dairy cows. There should have been NO REASON for there being a record album there, much less a device to play it. My "Epiphany" was clear; that song HAS to be where and when the West was indelibly scribed into my persona.

I certainly plan to use this story in my "forward" but the words "Each Star's a Pool of Water" and lyrics on both sides of it are so profoundly appropriate. I can truly see your grandfather's words being translated literally while at the very same time painting the struggle and sacrifice the cowboy endured just to survive in a chosen lifestyle. The lyrics can and do go much deeper than I perceive but, to me, the desert is our/his life. The "mirage" is the dream of a better life (could also be a final resting spot) and the "water" being the nourishment to body and soul to get us there.

My book's "fantasy" will be essentially a "paint the town" experience where I seek affection from the only source available. The story line will take on more of an intimate feel similar to the Gus & Lorena relationship in Lonesome Dove, than a raucous shoot 'em up yarn. To me the "each star is a pool of water" represents the dreams and aspirations mans' quest for companionship and fulfillment. It is a great, GREAT song, with profound imagery and message.



Photo: courtesy of Craig Bergsgaard