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The Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center


An "Unconventional Man" has been a phrase used to describe Fred Oldfield and rightfully so. He has spent his entire adult life doing what he loved the most - painting! His youth was filled with the cowboy life - covered wagons, horses, farming and trail rides. Now he is one of the Granddaddy’s of Western Art and proof positive you can make your dreams come true!

Fred painting Greta  with old barn as background

Born in Alfalfa, WA in 1918 and raised on the Fred riding Gretta
Yakima Reservation, Fred Oldfield was expected to, and did, ride on the roundups and drives and he has often stated that "If you’re going to paint Westerns you should go out and ride a bit. The perk of a horse’s ears, or the shift of his weight, are hard things to recreate with sincerity on canvas if you haven’t experienced them firsthand." Thus it is that Fred’s art places its viewers in a time where "work" meant you got dirty, "traveling" meant by horse and "fast food" meant it could out run ‘ya. His paintings capture the west he knew first hand, and highlight raw nature and the old west’s simple living.

Fred Painting
Fred's passion and appreciation for life is reflected in his work. His colors are bold and powerful like the beauty he sees in his surroundings. Some of his paintings depict rugged mountains rising up behind hunched over cowboys - the reins of a scrappy cowpony in hand. Others almost seem to emit heat from crackling campfires and laughter from worn out cowboys huddled around the flame’s glow. Largely because of those rich and often nostalgic images, his work is in demand -- collectors are drawn to the stories he tells with his brush and canvas.

Fred’s claim to fame is multifaceted... His love and devotion to family and friends - his hundreds of donations benefiting children - his passion for his paint, brushes and fishing pole - and always, his humility, warmth and humor. Fred Oldfield is a true artist and gentleman who believes he’s been blessed to spend his life making a living at something he loves! He has taught many young aspiring artists and has shared his unique life lessons with a generation of family, friends and patrons. When asked why he doesn’t retire Fred responds with "From what? I paint, I fish and I golf. What should I give up?"

Fred talking to and posing Greta
Fred still often rides for inspiration and to recapture a special feeling for a painting he is contemplating. The photos above show Oldfield riding on Molly Morrow’s ranch in Ellensburg, WA. This particular frosty fall day Oldfield was being photographed for the PBS series "Painting the West with Fred Oldfield". The horse, Greta, is an old friend of Fred’s, but Fred always tells her he would have named her Nugget!



Visit the Molly Morrow Photography web site.

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If you were looking for the Wit, Wisdom, Opinions, and Commentaries of Fred Oldfield (unrelated) you probably were looking for www.fredoldfield.com. As long as you are here we hope you will bookmark our site and come back and get to know us.

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The Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center is a Non-Profit 501 (c) (3) Corporation
All donations to this Center are Tax Deductable.
Your generous contribution will be instrumental in bringing bigger and better arts opportunities to the citizens of our region.

Copyright © 2002 Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center

This page last modified on:  Wed 11/26/14 01:06:28 EST