Although National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Famer Donna Howell-Sickles (she was inducted in November of 2007) grew up around ranching and farming, her fascination with the cowgirl spirit did not begin until her last year in college.
When she and a fellow art student were sorting through boxes of inspiring paraphernalia they had traded to one another, Howell-Sickles discovered a vintage postcard, circa 1930s at the bottom of her box. It was an image of a cowgirl with ruby red lips, sitting atop her horse. It read, “Greetings from a Real Cowgirl from the Ole Southwest.” The image, which felt both “familiar and unreal,” sparked an imaginative, artistic odyssey that would endure for decades. The resonance and implications between reality and myth would inspire and inform Howell-Sickles work from that moment on, as she sought to “capture the quintessence and timelessness of the cowgirl spirit.” Today Howell-Sickle’s stylized and signature images, imbued with a mystery all their own, are coveted by cowgirls and art collectors everywhere.