A LITTLE AT A TIME’Sandy Howell adds a few more lines to the custom portrait she is working on for a client. Although horses, westerns and wildlife are her favorite subjects to draw, portraits and scenic shots are also in her repertoire. Her tools are simple, a pencil and a piece of paper. Her creations speak volumes about a particular instant, a moment in time captured by an artist’s eye. Sandy Howell began drawing while still in high school. Her love and talent steered her to pencil drawings, a uniquely simple style of art that lends itself to extremely detailed pieces filled with intricate designs and delicate shadowing. Drawing off and on since high school, Ms. Howell has decided to attain the status of professional artist. She currently has reprints of many of her drawings featured in galleries in Brownwood and Mason. Two other galleries in Fredericksburg have also expressed a desire to market her work. “This has been a hobby for me that I have dabbled in since high school,” said Howell. “My goal now is to become a professional, and it takes a lot of hard work simply getting my pieces out there into galleries.” Her subjects range from wildlife and glimpses of ranch life to her hands-down favorite, John Wayne. Her drawings are recreations of photographs which seem to take on new life when put on paper with her artistic touch. “John Wayne is all over my house,” she said. “I have always drawn western themes and horses. I am just now really beginning to do more scenic shots.” One quick glance at any of her drawings, and the level of talent she possesses is obvious. Take a closer look and study the drawing, and you will find incredible detail’the result of hours of time at the drawing board. With the desire to recreate a picture that could be mistaken for a black and white photograph, the attention to detail is the key for each piece of work. Creating an individual drawing takes anywhere from two to three weeks, depending on the weather and work time available. “Sometimes I’ll spend an hour or two working on something; other days if the weather is nasty, I’ll spend even more,” she said. In her quest to reach notoriety as an accomplished artist, she has begun marketing and selling both her original drawings as well as high quality reprints. The originals are for sale at a premium, but reprints are available at more-than-reasonable prices. “Right now, I am just trying to get my name out there, and let people see my work,” said Ms. Howell. “Buying directly from the ‘manufacture-her’, (Howell herself) is something I am doing to hopefully make it easier for people to afford these types of prints.” Having grown up spending most of her time on her grandfather’s ranch in Brenham, Ms. Howell has always had a love for horses. During the day, she works as a dental assistant in Dr. Lonnie Pollard’s office in Brady. Whenever she is not busy at the dental clinic, she is spending time with her horses. Together with her husband, Ben, they run Saddle Tramp Ranch, a small ranch just north of Brady, that specializes in breeding and selling working cow horses and speed event horses. “Ben and I love horses,” said Ms. Howell. “We hope to build our businesses where we can retire and do both full-time. “It takes about 15 years to establish a bloodline in a ranch/cow horse with the conformation, demeanor and disposition that many people want, and we are working to do just that.” With high hopes and strong determination to succeed, a champion line of working horses and a collectable line of artwork are sure to be part of the future of the the Howells and Saddle Tramp Ranch.