Artist Ernie Lewis: Combining a passion for the western way of life with art

Many struggle to find their passion in life, but artist Ernie Lewis has been fortunate enough to discover two that brought him joy: roping and painting. While the two are seemingly opposite, Lewis found a way to pursue both, even mixing his love of the western world into his artwork.

The artist was born in Greenville, Miss., in 1943. His father liked to hunt and fish, passing that on to his son, who found a love of the outdoors early on.

“My dad enjoyed the outdoors but I was the only one in my family who wanted to be a cowboy,” Lewis recalled. “Ever since I was a little bitty kid, I would go to the riding club all the time. I went home one time and took my calf horse and a buddy of mine was there. He wanted to learn to rope, so we built a piece of junk arena, at 10 years old. We thought ‘Why don’t we just get some goats?’”

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