WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Longtime Williams resident Buster Anderson has learned everything he's done in his life by doing, from playing the guitar to working on the ranch.
His art is no exception. Anderson, who is mostly self-taught, uses colored pencils, paint and chalk to create his artwork that depicts ranching scenes.
"I've always been around cattle and horses and working with them, so I draw what I know and what I see," he said.
Anderson recently started working out of sculptor Neil Logan's studio at Wild West Junction and selling some of his prints around town.
Anderson credits his school teachers with sparking his artistic talent, although he's had no formal art training.
"I was always very good in art class in grade school," he said. "I could draw things. In those days we would have other kids that could draw too, so we would get to challenging one another sort of. 'Well here's what I drew.' 'Well I can do that too and I don't even have to have yours.' And then you compare. That's how you learn."
Anderson gets ideas for his art from scenes he's observed on the ranch.
"Whenever I have a certain horse or a certain cow act a certain way or whatever I might just say, 'Hmm I'm going to draw that,'" he said. "I get her in the pen and I get out there and sit down and watch her. So I sketch it out, then later you start filling in and drawing the solid lines."
Different life experiences also serve as inspiration for Anderson's work.
"I was pretty fortunate. I rode some pretty tough horses," he said. "I've always been able to ride them. And even though I'd get bucked off it didn't matter. I'd say, 'Okay horse, we're fixing to do this again. I don't quit.'"
Logan said Anderson's drawings are authentic western art.
"What makes his work valid is the fact that he lived it, he saw it," Logan said. "Buster (generally) does not paint from photographs or even plein air, sitting out in the woods and painting, because it's pretty hard to catch a bronco to stand still long enough to draw. It's all from memory. On top of that he might have done (the paintings) 10 years later. It's just him sitting there playing with his memory."
At age 73, Anderson is still drawing inspiration from his ranching days and learning about his hobby of creating art.
"You learn as you go," he said. "If don't then you're dead."