Sayles Ranch Guesthouses

SAYLES RANCH GUESTHOUSES Abilene, Texas Experience West Texas "John Wayne at Starbucks" Style

"Not your granny's B&B!" An innovative alternative to luxury accommodation needs in Abilene, TX! Our specialty is high end, West Texas style decor that stimulates an interest in the romance of our heritage and satisfies the craving for an interesting and thought provoking lodging experience.

Mission: To address the niche market of people looking for something more than the same-o, same-o chain hotel experience, when they visit Abilene, and to give them a level of luxury that is not available elsewhere in Abilene. And to involve others in the adventure of the Sayles Ranch Experience by staying connected with the ongoing process of designing, antique shopping and hunting for one of a kind objects to repurpose historic buildings that create that Sayles Ranch Experience. Come treasure hunt with me in "Nowhere America", otherwise know as West Texas!

Art is personal....

When I do a painting, the best ones are driven not completely by visuals—color, composition, symbols, etc., but sometimes by a very vivid and overwhelming thought, emotion or idea, or a strong combination of all of those.

I posted this painting, “Cry of the Prairie Flower” a couple of months ago when I finished it. It depicts the compelling story of the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker and her dramatic attempt to save her baby girl, Prairie Flower, and herself from being killed by the Texas Rangers in a raid on their camp. Just as she was about to be overtaken from fleeing on horseback, she held the baby in the air in surrender, desperately crying out for them to halt their fire. There is so much drama in the incident that even the cactus “Prairie Flower” symbolically cried out to the Great Spirit for help for the mother and child.

I think it has been my favorite in the series I have been working on, but it is admittedly different from the others and has not been the most popular. It is complex and there is so much symbolism in it. I had hoped that it would evoke the intended emotion in just the right viewer/buyer, as other more recent paintings have sold before it.

A couple of days ago, that happened, and I am so pleased that the painting sold to woman who is a champion and savior of children. I told her after she had made the purchase and it was hanging in her living room that the painting depicts more than just Cynthia Ann Parker. It represents strong women who are courageous and put themselves at risk for their children and that I was pleased that she had bought it because in a sense, it represents women just like her!

You see, art is personal.

Prepping another canvas with 120 year old historic, Parker County land grant deed documents that conveyed Land that was at one time controlled by the Comanches. The conception and anticipated birth of another piece in my ongoing series about the clash of the Comanche and Texanian cultures.

“The Chief’s Dream”

“—and above all the low chant of their traveling song which the riders sang as they rode, nation and ghost of nation passing in a soft chorale across that mineral waste to darkness bearing lost to all history and all remembrance like a grail the sum of their secular and transitory and violent lives."

----- Cormac McCarthy, "All the Pretty Horses"

The land grab of white settlers moving Westward and the killing out of the buffalo were certainly two of the biggest threats to the Comanche Nation of the Great Plains, but another was white man’s technology—the railroad. It gradually slithered across the Llano Escatado like a belching, billowing serpent. In this most recent painting, “The Chief’s Dream”, I have depicted a nightmare Chief Quanah Parker might have had. The sinister train in his dream is charging toward him edging him partially off the canvas under a full moon, known as a “Comanche Moon because the full moon was when Comanches raided white settlers’ cabins. The Comanche Moon struck terror in the hearts of white settlers but this time the Chief is being raided. There is a new Chief coming to the prairie in this evil incarnation and if you look closely the engine has the face of a skull with a hint of a headdress. Years later, the Santa Fe Railroad actually named one of their engines, “Chief”! A couple of other subtleties include faint graffiti lettering “Chief” on the side of the coal car and the tracks are actually opposing arrows which to the Comanches was a sign of war. Chief Quanah Parker’s war staff is broken and a Scissor Tail Flycatcher has momentarily perched on the broken staff. The Scissor Tail Flycatcher appearing in a dream was a sign of a cutting with the past to the Plains Indians and the double diamonds with a dot in the center was a symbol for the medicine man which meant a predicting of the future. Scissor Tail’s tail is cutting the Medicine Man symbol to bits as they pass between her tail feathers.

Again, this painting is another in the series I have been working on. I used 120 year old, hand written deeds from Parker County, glued to canvas, as a base for the work. These documents take on special meaning because Parker County was named after Isaac Parker, Chief Quanah Parker’s Mother’s uncle. This is a reference to historic, Native American Ledger Art. The acrylic painting is 48” x 48”. Price available upon request.

The Comanches were not a peaceful First Nation tribe and they lived a transitory and violent life which was very difficult to sustain, even without the multiple threats of the white men. But even this at risk existence was changing.

Art is storytelling...but with more than just words.....
Terry Browder, July 2018

Here is my most recent painting:

“Cry of the Prairie Flower”
—as she realized she was about to be overtaken, she held her baby, “Prairie Flower” high in the air in dramatic surrender—

“During the conflicts between the Comanches and the white settlers, the men were usually killed, but it was the women and children who invariably suffered captivity and unspeakable atrocities, both Indian against white and white against Indian.”

In 1860, on a retaliatory mission for the recent, Comanche raids against white settlers in Jack, Palo Pinto, and Parker Counties, 23 year old Captain Sullivan (Sul) Ross, who later in his career became Governor of Texas and President of Texas A & M University, led a group of Texas rangers through Northwest Texas. Near Mule Creek, a tributary of the Pease River they surprised a Comanche hunting party, comprised mainly of women and children. The location was a few miles northeast of present day Crowell, Texas. History books call this the “Battle of Pease River”, but it would more accurately be described as a massacre. Most of the men were away hunting, and the almost defenseless women and children were all killed except for a young boy taken captive, and a woman and her baby girl who fled on horseback. Captain Ross chased after her and —as she realized she was about to be overtaken,she held her baby, “Prairie Flower” high in the air in dramatic surrender—Halting his gunfire, he was astonished to see that she was not Indian, but was a blue eyed, white woman, who he would later discover was the legendary Comanche captive, Cynthia Ann Parker and her infant daughter, “Prairie Flower”.

In this instance, it was white brutality to Indian women and children, but the terror of Indian against white women and children was debatably more unspeakable.

My painting entitled “Cry of the Prairie Flower” depicts the historic recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker and her infant daughter “Prairie Flower”. The subject matter has double inspiration—the rugged, yellow bloom of the native, prickly pear cactus, the Prairie Flower, and the inhumane brutality suffered by the women and children on both sides, a subject not easy to discuss in detail. The colorful sunset, the burning teepee and the desperate attempt of a mother to save her baby, “Prairie Flower” are illuminated by an otherworldly color palette and expressive brushwork.

This painting is part of a series and the ground for the painting is influenced by the Ledger Art of the Plains Indians who drew and painted on recycled paper and documents they sourced from scouts. Hand written, 1890s deeds, from Parker County, Texas, that conveyed land once controlled by the Comanches are used. There is a deeper level of meaning in that Parker County was named after Isaac Parker, Cynthia Ann Parker’s uncle, who searched for her for two and a half decades. I have incorporated actual history pertaining to the event within the artwork.

This acrylic and historic document piece is fairly large—48” x 60”, and Native American symbols tell part of the story. At the very top of the painting are pink diamonds in the sky with a circle and a dot inside, creating a halo around the child. This is a Plains Indian symbol for the “Great Spirit”. The motif of the square with an “X” inside is a Plains Indian symbol for HELP and they emulate from the center of the Prairie Flower around the mother and child and upward as a symbolic cry for help to the Great Spirit. Because of the terror and helplessness of the moment, even the cactus blossom cries out to the Great Spirit for help!

Painting, is a redemptive act both on the part of the artist as well as the viewer. In addition, when art becomes Story, it reaches another level of the redemptive expression by validating, repeating and remembering. Art’s language and visual vocabulary powerfully transcend mere words....

Sayles Ranch——experience the romance of our historic western heritage. Celebrating our 15th year of West Texas Hospitality.

Funny thing....while we travel many miles in search of fun things to do and interesting places to stay....a lot of the rest of the world is coming to Abilene for the same reason! Tourism Abilene!

🎼Be our guest!🎼🎼Be our guest!🎼

This weekend at the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses, we are hosting a dozen different families in a dozen different houses! It’s our great honor to serve up a “heapin helpin” of our brand of West Texas Style Hospitality!

🎼Be our guest! Be our guest! Be our guest!🎼

Celebrating our Western Heritage this week at the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses!

Gardening and landscaping are redemptive acts. Sayles Ranch gardens. #saylesranch #gardening #redemptivegardening

Tourism matters to Abilene! Vote Saturday, May 5th for forward thinking leadership.

Sayles Ranch Guesthouses—accommodating our honored guests with West Texas Style Hospitality for 15 years.

Tourism Abilene Style! Thinking outside the box.....#saylesranchguesthouses #accommodations #luxuryhotels #boutiquehotels

Blooming into the weekend! The gardens at City Slickers, after the rains.

"The winds of change had billowed across the West Texas prairie that beautiful spring of 2018, and there was a promise of a new day dawning in the cultural and tourism scene in the beloved city of Abilene. The darkness of national political and social unrest had been illuminated, if but for a time, by the altruistic efforts of artists and restauranteurs, and of visionaries, innkeepers and many others. The rains came and the antique roses bloomed once again that spring, and for one brief moment...all seemed at peace with the world."

What To Do On A Visit To The ‘Storybook Capital Of Texas’

We were so surprised and pleased to learn that National Public Radio (NPR) featured Sayles Ranch Guesthouses this morning on their travel show, telling about the delightful experience of visiting Abilene. Tourism is a huge business here in Abilene and provides jobs for over 4,000 of our residents every year. Our beloved Abilene! You can read it here: Spend a day communing with spirits of the Old West, chowing down on steaks and barbecue, or taking in some top country music acts.

Where to Stay for a Small-Town Getaway

We are so pleased and honored that Texas Monthly Magazine has chosen to include the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses in their article on Small Town Getaways. This is great publicity for Abilene and is one more element toward promoting tourism in our beloved city. Unique and intimate lodging options abound across Texas, from themed guesthouses to communal compounds and even a former jailhouse.

Our two most recent additions to the Sayles Ranch Guesthouses collection of properties are now on our website at! Pop culture has influenced my design aesthetic!

Your crew/Our place. Be there! Sayles Landmark—the ultimate place to accommodate your wedding party!

At Sayles Landmark, we are looking to compile an “A-List” of first class caterers who are interested in doing small but upscale dinner parties for under 12 people. As we gain momentum in this market, we are having more and more requests for intimate dinners, creatively prepared and presented. If you or anyone would be interested in being included in our referrals, please email me at:

#gardenweddings #weddingdesign #weddings via

#christmas #holidaydecor #christmasgetaway #arrest via

#kangdaniel via #indiandecor #southwestdecor #nativeamericandesign

Wouldn’t a “Girls Weekend” be perfect after the holidays? The answer: Cottage Clare

#arrest via

#christmas via

Modern sculpture and decadent traditional art and a touch of hats and horns--facelift at the Sayles Ranch!

Sayles Ranch has been undergoing a new incarnation. We started it all with this guest house 16 years ago, and it was my first. We have a dozen Sayles Ranch Guesthouses now! I have been doing some modifications to keep it fresh. I call it "John Wayne at Starbucks Style!"

I just finished a new art installation at Mad Men. Keeping it quirky with old industrial foundry molds. The browns, blacks grays and silver along the the natural wood textures are a perfect compliment to the Mid Century Modern decor.

What a glorious fall evening at the historic Sayles Landmark. History is not finished with this place and neither am I. My heart and soul to you tonight!

I want to thank you all for coming to our Open house today for our new guest house, Downton Abbey! You came! Hundreds and hundreds of you came! How blessed I am to have so many faithful patrons who encourage me and keep me going. I am humbled by your enthusiasm and I thank you for taking time from your busy lives to come and see! I had a royal blast and I hope you did too!

Well wouldn't you know! It's just after midnight on Sunday morning of our open house and the Queen has cancelled! Such a break in protocol to regret at this late hour....William and Kate can't come because she's experiencing morning sickness and Charles and what's her name...well what fun would that be? Would you consider coming in their place? They're such a stuffy lot--it will probably be more fun without them anyway.

Downton Abbey Open House, this afternoon, Sunday, Oct 1, from 2-5. 1511 Yeomans Rd. It will be a royal treat!

Downton Abbey OPEN HOUSE, Sunday afternoon from 2-5, at 1511 Yeomans Road. We kindly request the presence of all Dukes, Duchesses, Counts and Lords and Ladies. Just for a few moments....imagine yourselves as English aristocrats! Come join the fun and see my new project.

Tomorrow is a big day for us! Hope you can come to our Open House for our new property, Downton Abbey! Sunday, Oct 1, 2pm to 5pm. 1511 Yeomans Rd.

History loves company..and so do we!! Come see us on Sunday afternoon, October 1, between 2pm and 5pm, at our Open House for our new property, "Downton Abbey!" 1511 Yeomans Road, Abilene, TX 79602. Because the walls in this property are covered with the backs of 3,000 vintage law books from the venerable, Scarborough Law Firm, which as been in Abilene for three generations, the property has the feel of an English Library. As you wander our "halls" you will think you're an English aristocrat!

It will be such a drag(on) if you don't come! Downton Abbey Open House. YOU are invited to an Open House on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm to sneak a peek at our latest Guesthouse, "Downton Abbey". It's Edwardian England styled decor with the walls of the property covered with 3,000 vintage law books! Nothing quite like it we think! Drop by: 1511 Yeomans Road, Abilene, TX 79602.

Downton Abbey Open House. We're just dying to show you our new property!....YOU are invited to an Open House on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm to sneak a peek at our latest Guesthouse, "Downton Abbey". It's Edwardian England styled decor with the walls of the property covered with 3,000 vintage law books! Nothing quite like it we think! Drop by: 1511 Yeomans Road, Abilene, TX 79602.

Our most recent Guesthouse we are fondly calling "Downton Abbey"! Some people play golf, some people drown the mundaneness of life with wine--I live in a fantasy world of aesthetics and interior design...but oh what a delightful world it is! Won't you join me for tea? #saylesranchguesthouses #downtonabbeystyle

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1001 Sayles Blvd
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