The West has a storytelling history, and everyone has a story. This is artist Theodore Waddell’s—an illustrated mosey through the landscape, livestock, and colorful characters that made up his life as a cattleman in a remote part of Central Montana. The essays that compose this memoir have much in common with his art. They are frank, evocative sketches that deftly combine the abstract and the literal to effectively communicate the persistent struggle and beauty of ranch life.
Each essay is accompanied by a painting and line drawings. Though these illustrations share DNA with the super-sized abstract impressionist paintings for which Waddell is known, they are more narrative in nature. The words and pictures found in Cheatgrass Dreams are an authentic distillation of life in the West’s rural and remote corners: unflinchingly heartfelt, surprisingly wry and brutally honest.