He grew up in Jack County, as a country boy who rode horses and worked with cattle.
In 1980, Rick Jackson began working in bronze and the one-time oil field worker has parlayed his love of the west into one of the most recognized western sculptors in the country.
“I grew up north of Jacksboro, in the Squaw Mountain area,” he says from his home in Mineral Wells.
Jackson graduated from Jacksboro High School in 1967 and drove trucks for oil companies. In 1980, he wanted to make gifts for his friends and it started his career in art.
“It was sort of an accident,” he says.
There was a foundry near Springtown where he stopped in and inquired as to what it would take.
“My first piece was Old Buck. I sculpted on it for a year. I cast three or four and gave them as gifts.
“Then I did an Indian.”
A friend of his suggested it was good enough to send to the Texas Art Gallery in Dallas.
“They might handle your work he told me,” Jackson recalls.
He says that a couple of weeks after he sent the piece he worked up the courage to call the gallery to see if they were interested in carrying his work.
“The girl said, ‘If there’s anything to do for a living besides sculpting, you ought to do it,’” he says of her response.
Jackson says it bothered him and it gave him the incentive to stick with it and improve his work.
“In 10 years she called a friend of mine who told me she was interested in carrying my work,” he recalls with a smile. “I told him I didn’t have time to put anything in galleries.”
Up until 1990, his target was horse and cattle people. But that year he married Judy and his focus shifted to other areas of sculpting – more artistic. Which resulted in being invited to more shows.
“Nearly al my commission work is non-western,” he says.
He recently completed a tiger for Jacksboro High School and has also done work for the city of Abilene and pieces for a college and religious sculptures for the Lovers Lane Methodist Church in Dallas.
But his first love was and remains western art.
“That’s what I’m known for – western art,” he says.
“I’ve been real lucky – at the right place at the right time,” he reflects. “There’s probably no such thing as one big break. It’s all those little breaks along the way.
“One day you figure out maybe people know who you are,” he adds. “I’ve made a lot of good friends in 30 years of this.”
Jackson can be reached at 940-325-6355, 940-682-1272 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.