Graham is completely self-taught, and his natural talent is obvious in his attention to detail, and accuracy. His style of painting is admittedly influenced by Charlie Russell, though some have said it is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell.
Graham has been in love with the American west, and western movies since childhood, and he discovered early on that he could express his interest in the west through his ability to draw and paint incredibly lifelike images of historical westerners, western film heroes, and fellow old west and “reel” west enthusiasts.
One of his favorite subjects, both to paint and talk about, is John Wayne. Graham told me, “I’ve been a fan of John Wayne, or as most fans call him, ‘The Duke,’ since I was about five years old. Like most kids, I loved cowboys and Indians, and my favorite star was, of course, the big man himself, ‘the Duke.’ You could guarantee that his films would be full of action. He was a great man. I wasn’t bothered by his politics, but I do think he was a kind and gentle man with a heart of gold. I love painting the Duke. He has a wonderful face for painting, plenty of character and easy to paint. I remember my first John Wayne sketches. I did six of seven small circular pen and ink sketches. I was about ten or so, and my family was great, they were very encouraging. I then did a painting of him on horseback from True Grit, and from then on if I was down or needed inspiration, out would come my paper and I would either paint or draw the Duke, and that would lift me up and bring a glow inside.
I still paint the Duke, and I always will. He’s the one man I would have loved to have met. There will never be another Duke. He was unique, a big man in many ways, and sadly missed by me and his many fans the world over.”
If you are interested in contacting Graham to inquire about any of his art, or if you would like to know more about having your portrait done, he can be contacted through his website, BrushWest Water Colours.
Here are some of the great pieces that Graham has created, click on any image to enlarge it. Enjoy!