The Point Of My Pencil, From Shoofly's War Bag
Text and Drawings copyright 2002 Robert Shufelt
Published in 2002 by Western Images Ltd.
P.O. Box 410, Aubrey, Texas 76227
12” x 9.5”, 144 pages, and 96 images indexed
Reviewed for Keeping Apace by Byron D. Varner
Art snobs would have you believe that fine art does not include the American cowboy - but like most snobs, they are wrong about a lot of things. I am here to tell you I have discovered a Western artist whose medium is the graphite pencil and a huge, incomparable talent to create works that equal or surpass the so-called masters.
What he does to capture realism by shading, dimension and other nuances make color take a back seat to his perfect black and white presentations. Unique is the word for this great artist.
So who is this artistic wonder, you ask?
Don't be surprised if you have not heard of Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt. No doubt you will hear a lot more about him in the future. He labored long and hard in the field of art before gaining the stature he deserves.
Because our grandson and his wife know how much we appreciate realism in art, they sent Shoofly's recent book, THE POINT OF MY PENCIL, as a thank-you gift. Both the gift and the givers are truly a treasure in the highest sense of the word. How nice to know there are such thoughtful and generous people in their generation. It gives one hope for our nation's future.
After glancing through the book, I could hardly wait for that rare occasion to sit quietly in my favorite chair and contemplate its beauty, slowly turning the pages of this wonderful book and reading every word. Each of Shoofly's many admirable and intricate illustrations put the perfect exclamation mark on the honest simplicity of its text - and vice versa.
As somewhat of an amateur art critic-collector, I consider Shoofly's creative renditions absolutely the finest Western art that I have ever seen. His intricate detail in this difficult medium is so rare that it seems impossible at first glance that it is not a finely focused photograph with ambient light. But his work is infinitely better than any photograph you will see.
The book's foreword by Russell Chatham sums up perfectly my own concept of what art should be - and this book exemplifies it in every way. It also exemplifies a way of American life that some may think extinct, but nevertheless still flourishes in the vast cowboy West of today through people like Shoofly, his wife, their families and friends. Would that the rest of our citizens give as much emphasis to honesty, good neighborliness, and other old fashioned American ideals as do these “hopefully not the last of the breed” in today's West.