How Carvings in Aspen Trees and Rocks Earned This Sheepherder The Title Of ‘Master’ Artist

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<p>(Courtesy Steven Baker Collection)</p>
<p>A rock carving by the late Pacomio Martinez Chacon.</p>
Photo: Colorado Western Slope sheepherder artist Pacomio Martinez Chacon_FEATURE
Sheepherder artist Pacomio Martinez Chacon carved in aspen trees and cliffs throughout Utah and Colorado's Western Slope.

His carvings in aspen trees and rocky outcroppings earned him the designation of "master folk artist" by the Colorado Council for the Arts, the Museum of Western Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Regional Office of the U.S. Forest Service. Though, for the late Pacomio Martinez Chacon, art was more of a way to pass time as he herded sheep through Utah and Colorado's Western Slope.

His life and art are now captured in a book. "My Name is Pacomio: The Life and Works of Colorado's Sheepherder and Master Artist of Nature's Canvasses" came out earlier this year. The author is historical archaeologist Steven G. Baker of Montrose. He was a close friend of Chacon's.

Baker wrote this dedication in his book: "With many tears for my good friend, Pacomio Chacon, professor of the sheep and master artist of the trees and cliffs."

Baker spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.

Audio from this interview will be attached after noon Thursday.

Related: Art In Thin Air: Denver's Lisa Martin Paints Landscapes At 14,000 Feet