Painting by Paul Freed man with books on his head
Art Star View Ranch Shop Things to Do in Colorado Springs Area

Books & Art: Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

This is a fun post that really is more about paintings from a of couple recent art shows than it is about cowboys or real estate.  Yet, I will argue that nice artwork allows a home to look like a home rather than a house.

Star View Real Estate’s – Shop with Books & Art  

Now I must admit, my taste in artwork is a bit eclectic.  Although I am not an expert art dealer, I so sell art work.    You see, my real estate office just happens to share space with my “Colorado Lifestyle Shop.”  Originally the shop was supposed to be a bookstore.  I had decorated it with items from my home staging inventory and from my  personal collection.

However, from the very beginning, people kept wanting to purchase my artwork and prints.   So, the shop quickly evolved into a home decor store that also sells books, some antiques, and art.

Although the shop has a very Colorado country theme to it; it isn’t your typical western store, equestrian shop, or antique store.  Well, I guess I do have a few saddles.   I like decorating with saddles.   The shop does not resemble a typical craft show booth either.

It is a unique, eclectic shop that is fun and comfortable at the same time.   People love it.   From a real estate standpoint, it has allowed me to meet and get to know a lot of people in a very casual manner.  I would estimate that 3/4 of my business are repeat customers.

When I introduce myself to people, I explain that I am a real estate broker that specializes in farm and ranch properties.  I explain that the shop, is a lifestyle shop intended to celebrate the Colorado “experience ”    I have carefully curated collection of vintage art work along with new, modern art.    There is a mixture of  fun, vibrant pieces with colors that pop that are  displayed near traditional, western artwork.    The shop is commonly described as having a “Little Bit of Everything.”

Endre Barath’s Active Rain post/challenge

So when I stumbled across Endre Barath’s Active Rain post/challenge, I simply could not resist participating.   Active Rain is a real estate blogging community that I have been a member of for over ten years.    Any way, not too long ago,  Endre’s one clients held an Invitation only Art Show at the Chateau Marmont  on the Sunset Strip, in California.    One of his favorite paintings at the show was “Book Smart” by Paul Freed.

Book Smart by Paul Freed

Oh….What a fun painting!  I immediately started thinking of ways that I could pull off having  “Book Smart” in my shop.    Granted, my shop does sell books.   The painting had books in it.

Yet, I’ve worked really hard to curate pieces that have a farm and ranch theme.  It doesn’t work from that aspect.   But, I like the piece….


After all, part of what I like about art is that it can stimulate conversation.    “Book Smart” would certainly make people stop.  And look. And think.  And laugh.  Some people would hate it.  Others would enjoy it, even if they couldn’t see themselves purchasing it.

Maybe to fully understand what I’m trying to say, please realize, my shop and real estate office is in Calhan, a little country town between Colorado Springs and Denver.  When I opened it, my landlord informed me that most people in the area didn’t read.    He has an antique store that primarily caters to the tourists that drive through.   Fortunately, he was wrong.

Not only do some people read and buy books,  they love the idea of having an “art” gallery.  For all practical purposes, people have nearly planned my first art exhibit with wine and music for me.  A musician has even volunteered.    I simply haven’t finished preparing the area that will be the “Art Gallery” space.

The Planned Art Gallery Space

So, I was thinking.   If I could just get, even just a copy of Paul Freed’s painting, I could have so much fun with it.   Hmm,  but how could I pull off displaying it in the little country town in a shop that sells pictures of horses, pigs, chickens and cows….  (My shop benefits from the current farm house decorating trend.)

So, I pulled out my trusty iPad, and started looking through some pictures that I took at a recent art exhibit that I recently attended.

Back in January,  I attended the  Coors Western Art Exhibit that is held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show, in Denver.   The show features an eclectic mix of styles and mediums.   The show is considered to be “one of the finest exhibitions of contemporary realism of the Western United States.”   The artists represented includes established artist and “unknown” talent.   Maybe, there was an artist at that show that would have a painting that would pair with “Book Smart” perfectly.

YES!!! …. I found a painting that could work.   If I was to do this, I would hang these two pieces on a wall, side by side.   The painting that I would want to display along side “Book Smart” is called “A Good Father” by William Matthews.   (I would actually like to have “A Good Father” as part of my permanent collection. )

The title of the display would be:

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

Let Them Be Doctors and  Lawyers  and Such

From Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings song, “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
























Now people may laugh at Mr. Book Smart.  Yet, if I was a betting woman, I would bet that Mr. Book Smart could walk into my real estate office and buy himself a nice ranch.

Let him spend a little time with some good ole’ trustworthy cowboys that can teach him the ropes.  How things work.    People wouldn’t be laughing at Mr. Book Smart for too long.  I have confidence in him.


1.  As a full disclosure, the shop has not been open long enough for me to know if I will be able to build up a client base that will be interested in purchasing originals.    So, if I was to have either of these works at my shop; they will most likely be quality prints.

2.  At this point in time, I am not take consignments either.  (Yes, I am  asked all of the time.)   My primary focus is selling homes, land and ranches for my real estate clients.  Thus, I can not commit to handling consignments.


If you are looking for an art & book loving Realtor that works along the front range in Colorado; please reach out to me privately.    In order to best serve my clients, I only work with homes, land and ranches – five acres and up.


Sondra Meyer

Star View Real Estate & Shop



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