8.4M X 3.7M (60’ X 12’), WATER WHEEL PARKING LOT
Painted in 1983 by Harold Lyon,
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Harold Lyon grew up in Ontario, surrounded by cattle and horses. He worked in the bush sawing logs and developed a solid background on which to base his strong portrayals of rugged bush life. As an artist, Lyon has a special penchant for things “Western” - the round-ups, cowboys and weather-worn faces in windswept settings.
Lyon attended art college in Detroit and Toronto, then worked as a graphic artist and set designer. For a time he was the Art Director for the Hudson Bay Company in Calgary. He worked for five years as an illustrator in Seattle before returning to Canada to live and paint in the Okanagan. Harold is presently living in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Logging with Oxen is a wonderful example of Lyon’s inherent energy, imbued as it is with a sense of the slow plodding and strain of the powerful animals harnessed to massive logs.
Harold Lyon’s paintings are exhibited in galleries in Canada and the United States. He painted the portrait of the former Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, and his latest series of Arctic scenes has toured the country.
Around 1898, oxen were the main form of power in logging, where good timber was available. “Large, well-equipped outfits used twenty to twenty-four oxen. These were divided into two teams: one drawing the logs from the bush to the road, while the other and stronger team was employed in skidding the logs to the water. Crude roads were made and small logs embedded skillfully athwart them at 8-foot intervals. These were the skid-roads over which the oxen drew the logs to the sea.” (R.I. Dougan, from Cowichan My Valley).
Since the ox’s hoof has a thin shell, the oxen were carefully shod with thin, half-moon shaped iron shoes. The job of shoeing the oxen was done on Sundays or after hours by the “teamsters”, with assistance from a young helper, the “greaser”. Next Mural >