"Al Bates is a retired commercial illustrator. He holds a BS from Louisiana Tech and a Masters from The Art Center College of Design in Los Angles. After trying out studios in New York, Detroit and Chicago, he eventually settled in Houston, Texas in the early 1960’s serving clients such as Exxon, Gulf, Shell, NASA and many more for over 30 years. He currently spends his time with family, friends, and enjoying his three grandsons."How's that for an official biography? Victoria informs me that the family does retain all rights to the drawing, and they are willing to discuss reprint rights and other possible uses of it. Victoria may be reached directly via email at RedMighty(at)AOL(dot)com.
Thank you for your interest in my father's artwork of the Chicken Ranch. This is a sketch (charcoal on tracing paper) my father did in 1973. It has been hanging in our home for as long as I can remember. My father is now in his early eighties and as he has gotten older he has been turning more and more of his artwork over to myself and my sister. He made it using photos he took of the chicken ranch at that time and of old photos of his parents and grandparents. My father was a commercial artist in Houston and this sketch was done as a job some 40 years ago. It was made for advertising his own company he had in the 1970's with a partner. That is also why there are blank spaces in the lower part, it was for type copy they would later insert.working with Don Olson at Texas State, so Mr. Bates is in good company. Above, right, is the original insert card that accompanied my print that I won on Ebay. It is an interesting read if you have a few minutes to spare. Sadly, I only have the smaller version of the print--I've only seen the large edition appear on Ebay once or twice, and both times the winning bid ran up well out of my price range. But maybe some day... The important thing is that contact information has been established for Mr. Bates and his family. I, for one, would be very happy to see this artwork come back in to circulation in some official, licensed form. I'm sure there are plenty of people around who would appreciate it. And I'm proud to say that the Al Bates images appearing on my website and blog are used with permission. Now Playing: Various artists Cool on the Coast
My father recalls that they had 500 of the larger size and a "few thousand" of the smaller version print made. These were given out to family, friends, and business associates, but a good portion were sold at art shows. There is a second Chicken Ranch painting that was also made at the same time which has never been made public. My father made this one entirely for his own pleasure. This one is about 4'x3', oil on black foam posterboard with a brass frame. Yes, having a father who is an artist has been quite the colorful adventure!
Chicken Ranch Central