012917-nws-stockfolks

Bruce Speidel works on a painting Saturday at his stand in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Samuel Blackstone, Journal staff

At first glance, Bruce Speidel's paintings of antelope, deer, bison and prairie landscapes look more like photos. With such a commitment to detail, Speidel said, some pieces can take more than a month to complete. Not that he's worried about it.

"I knew it (art) would give me the freedom to do stuff around the world," he said Saturday from behind a work desk at his stand in Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

A graduate of Black Hills State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in art and communications art, Speidel is also a former Marine Corps combat illustrator. For four years, he worked in Washington, D.C., drawing battles, landscapes, and fighters in combat for historical records and books, he said.

That experience, it's clear, lends itself well to the works he now devotes his time to as a full-time, professional painter in Sundance, Wyo., where he operates an art gallery. It's his second year at the Black Hills Stock Show.

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"It's a local show that I can do," Speidel said. "Customers that find me here can make the trip out to my gallery."

Speidel's art has taken him all over the world, including to Nepal and Chile, he said, but Wyoming and the Black Hills still have his heart.

"I'm blessed to live in the Black Hills," he said. "The local support is wonderful."

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