Hayes Martens, of Chillicothe, is sharing his time and talents to create a piece of artwork that is being auctioned online Wednesday to benefit a Kentucky boy with leukemia. As of 11 a.m. today (Monday), the bidding for this particular piece had reached $9,000.
It's not any piece of art. Created with pastels and colored pencils, it is a drawing of Texas Tornado, a “fluffy cow” that has become an internet sensation. As its name depicts, the cow (actually, a bull) has thick, fluffy hair. Texas Tornado is owned by Matt Lautner Cattle, of Adel, Iowa. Photographs of Lautner's fluffy cows have gone viral on the internet and now are trending on Twitter with the hashtag #fluffycow.
Martens, 43, became friends with Matt Lautner through Trans Ova, where Martens' wife, Kelly, is an embryologist. Lautner had asked Martens, who works for Direct Freight Services, of Chillicothe, to do a drawing for him and then donate it to the auction.
Martens' artwork shows Texas Tornado and identifies the cuts of beef. The piece of art is being auctioned through the Cowboy Up for a Cure benefit auction taking place this Wednesday. There are other lots in this auction, ranging from bull semen, fans, and other livestock related items. The benefit auction is for Drew Shryock and is being conducted on www.showstockplanet.com.
All proceeds go to help offset the medical expenses for Shryock, a 5-year-old boy who was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July 2012. The boy's family lives on a small farm where they have cows, dogs and cats. They grow corn and cut hay. The family has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CowboyUpForACure. Drew's young and he loves livestock, especially cattle.
Lautner is the owner of MattLautnerCattle.com, which is primarily a club calf operation. He has numerous club calf bulls that he markets the semen for throughout the United States. His sires dominate many of the local, state and national livestock shows across the country; including county and state fairs as well as much larger shows like the American Royal, Western National in Denver and the North America International Livestock Exposition in Louisville. His bulls are highly sought after and he is considered one of the best marketers in the industry.
Martens had drawn some in the past and just recently broke away from a 13-year disconnect from art. This past March, after a large snow storm and a few days afterward, Martens said he wanted to see what St. Columban Church looked like with the red brick building blanketed with that much snow.
“I really liked how it looked so I snapped a couple pictures with my cell phone,” he recalled. “A few days later I was looking at those pictures thinking I should draw that. I did a watercolor painting of the church many years ago, before the steeple was replaced. Now with the new steeple and this heavy snowfall I decided to give it a try.”
Page 2 of 2 - He completed an 18" x 24" colored pencil drawing of the church and decided with their dinner/auction approaching, he should make prints and donate No. 1 of 5 Artist's Proofs to the benefit auction. Mike and Marti Miller purchased the print at auction for $900.
Martens said he was honored to have been asked to be a part of the benefit and is pleased that funds raised through his artwork will benefit a child with cancer.