The Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. McKee III Family Fred Darge Collection

Storm Clouds, Burnham Ranch, Big Bend

Oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″, ca. 1937-1938

Darge’s official Big Bend career began when he received an invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Waddy T. Burnham, Jr. in 1936 to visit and paint at their ranch. The rest is history.

He would return every year to sketch and paint, staying with the Burnhams and other families until the Chisos Mountain area was acquired by the National Park Service and the ranchers and others were removed from their land.

Storm Clouds could very well have been the beginning of several of Darge’s highly skilled early trademarks: dynamic sunlit highlights, reflections, shadows, and important geographic locations. The three tall peaks at the bottom of the clouds are (left to right) Pummel, Wright, and Panther.

Gifted by Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. McKee, III

Mankato Style Spur Strap Buckles on Custom Straps by Baru Forrel