Posts Tagged ‘horses’


Seen this little cutie patootie at the Iowa horse fair last weekend. I think it’s exactly what I need.

After several hours of looking at all the billowy manes, glossy flanked, leggy gorgeousness that is the Frieians, Andalusians, Gypsies and all manner of equine goodness … this is what I feel in love with.

Can’t you just see it?

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I always struggle when starting a new piece to find the right colors for what I have in mind. And this piece is no exception. I wanted a warm yellow color to my gray horse. Gray horses seem to be a challenge for me. I make them too cold, too blue gray and this one I want warm. I want reflected light and soft yellow and rose coloring.

Somehow though I wound up with a whole lotta green.

So here’s where I think I went wrong
I made a few critical errors when I began this piece. First I started it at home in a not well lit environment.

It’s one thing to work on a piece once I have figured out my palette. But it’s probably best not to try to figure it out in not-so-great lighting.

I layed down an yellow/orange-ish base coat and then put my blue/grays over the top and guess what … it made green. Yeah, I know after 20 years of mixing color I should have expected that huh?

Though in my defense had I been working in oil pastel it would have totally worked!

And lastly I get kinda fixated on the area that I am working and in point of fact it was only 6 inches on a piece that currently measures 24 x 32. So I really need to just step back and try to remember there is a lot more to do so stop obsessing..


So the head shown here is nowhere near done but I like it better. Crappy photo makes it look a lot like the first photo … but trust me it is completely different.)

So I pulled out a dozen or so Percheron reference photos that had that glow I was looking for. Pulled out much of the color I had put in and began again. At the gallery. On a sunny day.


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Since Christmas is just around the corner I’ve been created lenses at a fast and furious pace I thought I’d hawk a few. The nice thing about creating these pages is there’s no shifting between the hemispheres (as in right brain- left brain) so I can take a break from framing and type away wildly on the computer for my down time. As opposed to painting which is not so easy to hop back and forth.

At any rate here’s what I’ve been up to.

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Breyer: WEG Esprit Water Globe

Horse Snow Globes
Collecting snow globes is often a wonderful holiday tradition and soon become treasured family heirlooms.

While some of the horse snow globes featured here are of a Christmas theme many of the horse snow globes on this page are far too beautiful to be seen only during the holidays and are truly worthy of becoming part of your permanent home decor.

These tiny little horse sculptures entertain and enchant as some of these globes are also music boxes which adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment.

These snow globes make a perfect gift for the horse lover on your Christmas gift list.

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Trail of Painted Ponies Poinsetia Pony Christmas Ornament Gift

Trail Of Painted Ponies Horse Ornaments
These Trail Of Painted Ponies Christmas Tree Ornaments are all festively decorated with hand-painted holiday themes.

There are the miniature sculptural horse ornaments with various Christmas themes painted on their sides as well as the more traditional Olde World look of hand-painted and hand blown ornaments which have an heirloom quality about them.

Mix and match for a stunning horse filled Christmas tree.

As you all know I love pretty much anything to do with horses and so collecting them in ornament form is a real pleasure.

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Nene Thomas Couture Carousel Horse Burgundy Dahlia

Horse Ornaments
This page is dedicated to horse ornaments of all varieties. I have a selection and sampling of all of the horse ornament makers such as Breyer, Nene Thomas (which is the horse ornament shown here), Trail of Painted Ponies as well as a Horse Of A Different Color horse ornaments.

Many of the ornaments on this page are for Christmas but a large number are not holiday specific and can be enjoyed as a part of your decor year round.

I am particularly fond of the romantic imagery used by NeNe Thomas (see Carousel Horse Ornament right.) These truly are little works of art.

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Woodland Santa Horse Ornament from the Horse of a Different Color Collection

Horse Of A Different Color Ornaments
The Horse Of A Different Color Horse Ornaments line is as varied as it is beautiful.

This page is primarily dedicated to horse Christmas ornaments though there is a nice selection of horse ornaments that could be displayed for all year long enjoyment. Also included on this ornament page is miniature Horse Of A Different Color Figurines which are the same size as the horse ornaments but without the hanging cord.

They are the most visually stunning horse ornaments on the market today. Most are hand-painted and each truly is a miniature work of art.

These little artsy horses are so unique and beautifully done that you’ll want to collect them all.

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Ravensburger Silent Thunder 500-Piece Puzzle

Horse Puzzles
I was surprised at how many beautiful horse puzzles there are on the market. Many fine equestrian artists like Chris Cummings and Lesley Harrison have recreated their art in puzzle form. Any horse lover or art enthusiast is sure to find a puzzle to please.

In addition to artistic horse puzzles, there are also 3d Horse puzzles, Glow In The Dark Horse Puzzles, Photographic Pictur Puzzles and Horse Puzzles for kids. There is even one horse puzzle with over 13.000 pieces and is quite huge in size. So yeah, there is something for everyone from the novice to the experienced puzzling enthusiast.

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Breyer 2009 Andalusian Beautiful Breeds Ornament

Breyer Horse Ornaments
I’ve been collecting Breyer model horses since I was a small child. They were always on my Christmas list and always tended to be my favorite toy every year. I still on occasion collect a Breyer model horse from time to time. So its no surprise that Breyer makes outstanding horse ornaments as they are known for their attention to detail and high quality figurines.

Breyer makes a wide assortment of ornaments and while most are holiday themed there are also plenty that fit into year round decor.

There are Breyer Beautiful breeds ornaments, Stirrup ornaments which have the current Breyer Holiday Horse in miniature mounted in a silver stirrup. There are hand blown and hand-painted glass ornaments, Carousel Horse Ornaments as well as some Racing Horse ornaments.

There is sure to be a horse ornament here to please all tastes.

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Mythical Horses Scarf by Laurel Burch

Artistic & Elegant Horse Scarves
Scarves are an elegant and easy way to add artistic flare to any outfit. This page was created to showcase some of the beautiful equine designs by Laurel Burch who’s authentic designs have hand rolled hems, made from unbelievably soft silk, use her original artwork and often come signed. Many have the added touches of sequins or long decorative fringe.

Additionally there are a couple of horse scarves by other designers but since I am the artsy fartsy type the Laurel Burch horse motif scarves are the main focus of this page.

And some of last years Horse Gift Pages Freshly Updated.
Breyer Collectible Holiday Christmas Horses
The Best Horse Books For Horse Women
the Best Natural Horsemanship Books
Carousel Christmas Tree Ornament
The Best Horse Books For Children
The Best Horse Books For Horse Lovers
Plush And Stuffed Horses
The Classic Horse Books Of Marguerite Henry

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I often dream about horses. Mostly I dream about my horse (riding him or whatever) and lately I’ve been having nightmares about him being stolen or getting sick (but that’s a story for another time.) I also dream a lot about being at horse fairs. Kinda makes sense I suppose since I do so much of that.

So anyway I had this dream about a big black horse in armor. I’ve pretty much forgotten what the dream actually consisted of though, but what I’m left with is this snapshot in my brain. The image is very dark. Like blackness or night time with a black horse (as already stated) and he’s wearing a shiny pewter colored skull plate and fancy tack. Mind you I went to bed pondering that buckskin in fancy tack so that may have something to do with it. The big horse is looking alert and perhaps a little tense, but not frightened. In the snapshot in my mind he rolls his eye back to look at me.

That’s it. That’s what rolling around in my head and I think it needs to come out.

So above was my thumbnail so I could remember this because dreams have such an ethereal quality I needed to put in down on paper.

Yeah, I know. I figured that probably wasn’t gonna do the job so I took a more serious approach to it.

And the result was this drawing. Now I know he doesn’t have any ears or actually tack (his skull plate is currently being held in place by sparkly unicorn magic.) It is slightly closer to what’s in my head, but not quite which is why I didn’t finish it. However it’s enough to keep the concept alive.

And just in case anyone is looking at it going “that’s all wrong” I had no reference photos of any sort when I scribbled this out. Just me on the couch with a scratch sheet of paper and a pencil so be kind. For the moment I’m not sure whether I’ll start a new concept drawing (using actual reference photos) from which to create a painting, or try to tweak this one into matching what’s in my head.

Did I Ever Tell You Guys …

that I have been pondering for a long time starting a t-shirt line. I’m not really thinking about using my artwork mind, but I may if I actually get into doing it. I’m thinking about these cartoon-y horses that I draw on occasion.

Quite often when driving to art shows (or while at them) I doodle a few out and add some sort of witty slogan or saying underneath them. I’m thinking the graphic would be smallish maybe pocket sized. Depending on how my year goes (as in time enough to devote to this) and my self confidence level at the moment when I’m about to do it.

ME: (upon showing mike my horse in armor cartoon) Isn’t he cute?

Mike: Yes

Me: Wouldn’t you want to buy a t-shirt with him on it?

Mike: Ummmmmmm ……. no.

Good thing Mike is not my target audience.

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As previously mentioned the Mn Horse Expo was a bit of a let down because the whole time we were there it rained. Now I have no issues with standing in a light drizzle when it comes to viewing exquisite horse flesh. None what so ever.

However apparently the owners of many of the expo horses do. They pretty much rushed them in and out so their beauty didn’t turn all wet and scraggly. (sigh)

That being said I still managed to take three whole rolls of film. (For those of you who don’t know me well, that was sarcasm. I usually take around 20) I had thought I had taken more because my camera case had quite a few rolls rolling about in the bottom. Turns out most were from a previous longhorn cattle safari I went on a month prior. Despite the tiny amount of photos taken I think I may well still get two paintings out of the visit. (Sa-weet!)

This is Cam. He’s a 11 year old Shire gelding recently imported from the Welsh/English border. He weighs over 2000 pounds and is 19.1 hands tall. He is multi talented as a wheel horse and cart horse.

Isn’t he lovely?

As to the buckskin above I’ve no idea but she did shout her email to me as she was heading back to the stables. She was very nice because when she seen my interest in her horse she circled back and gave a second crack at getting some pics before heading in.

If I copied the email correctly hopefully I’ll have more info to add soon. 🙂

I’ve been wanting to do a buckskin for quite awhile and with all that gorgeous tack . . . well this may be the one. After Spanish Gold I’m kinda liking the fancy tack thing.

Yup I’m Back
I’ll spill all on the paper making trip next post.

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Milking Horses? For Real Ya'll

Milk . . . does a body good.
Okay so I was watching an old Gordon Ramsey and was shocked to see a little blurb on one of his shows about Horse Dairy farms in Belgium. Seriously?

The show had several people having a taste and most squidging up their faces in disgust. I’m like “Eeeeeuw”

Turns out the disgust was not taste related as it was the extremely low fat content. “It tastes like skim milk” was the common statement.

I’m like “Oh . . . okay well that’s not so bad.” After all skim milk is all I’ve ever drank since I was six” (seriously when watching people drink whole milk, or even 2% all that fat sticking to the side of a glass just totally grosses me out.)

The other big plus to milking horses is the Brabant Horse is primarily the milking horse of choice and this could very well save the breed. Registration of the breed is up considerably since the milking operations began.

Investigative reporter that I am I immediately started the quest for more info (i.e. google) and here’s what I found. From The Draft Horse Journal

Why equine milk? (Is beneficial ) . . . especially for metabolical, gastrointestinal and liver problems, but also for recovering after surgery and severe illness, cholesterol problems, allergy to cows’ milk, stress, skin problems, stiff joints or just to keep fit and well. Horse milk strengthens the body, boosts the immune system and increases a person’s energy and vitality. In the case of metabolic disorders, it stimulates internal cleansing. A word of caution–people having allergies to horses should, of course, be very careful before drinking horse milk. Allergies to horses, horse hair and horse milk is an unfortunate reality for some.

Horse milk is very close in composition to human milk except in fat and calories. Cows’ milk consists of 3.7% fat, while human milk is 3.5%. Horse milk, however, is just 1.25% fat, most of which is polyunsaturated (the “good” kind). Furthermore, horse milk contains just 44 calories per 100 grams (or 3.5273 oz.), compared to 64 for cows’ and 70 for human. Additionally, lactose (milk sugar) is higher in horse milk than in cow and human milk, as is albumin, the latter of which is very beneficial for improving digestibility.

Late Breaking News . . . really, really late.
I should say this is not necessarily breaking news. The Ramsey show as kinda old and the article quoted here was from 2002. I couldn’t find anything more current though honestly I didn’t work that hard at it. Still an interesting idea. I wonder how well they are doing now. Anybody know?

photo credit link I do actually have some Brabant photos but none of my horses were the beefy loveliness of this big-un.

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So it’s Saturday morning and I’m looking forward to a full day of working on this painting. Followed by Sunday. I am probably being overly optimistic, but I am hoping to just about finish it off by the end of the weekend.

Tall, Dark and Seriously Handsome
Frieisans are one of my favorite breeds. Yeah, I know I’m totally alone in this.

Any one who likes horses . . . even a little, likes Friesians. Anyone who is a romantic. . . even a little, likes Friesians. But they really do have all the attributes I admire in horses. They have size. In general they have great temperaments. They’re black. (Ever since I read Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion that has been the color of choice for me.) They have unbelievable hair. Seriously what’s not to love?

And the Friesian that sealed the deal for me being a fan was when I met Nero at the MN Horse Expo many years ago. Since then I have come to know many wonderful Friesian horses, but Nero still holds a special place in my heart.

The handlers were so giving of their time with Nero and the public. The thing that instantly impressed me was how calm and dignified he was in the mayhem that is the expo. He was always surrounded by groups of people reaching out and petting him.

People I think forget what an amazing thing that is. Here you are in a foreign place with hundreds of horses and thousands of people. And here is this stallion completely calm, while total strangers are touching him (I’m sure often in places he’d prefer he wasn’t touched) and there’s chaos all around. I mean a stallion for Pete’s sake. Often times someone was on him bareback with only a halter and lead.

To be clear, there are other stallions that do as well, but also plenty who don’t.

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So here’s my latest effort.
This painting is yet unnamed (not even a working title yet) and is once again done on suede board.

I really like the look of suede, but I am torn about using it, since so far it has been a little moody to work with when it comes to profiling it for prints. (Mike, says the suede’s fine, that I’m the one who’s moody.)

Um . . . Anywho, my last couple of pieces didn’t profile as well as I would have liked. The prints look fine (perhaps a tad darker than the original) but it was a real effort to get there. Sometimes that’s just the way of things. But it may have to do with the suede being so dimensional. In real life the light gets captured in depths of the fibers that doesn’t reproduce in print.

In case it is the later, I am working on a lighter shade of suede to see if that helps. I am kinda counting on it actually because I just invested $80 in 3 sheets of the stuff. (and they’re not really colors I use in framing) My two other pieces in the works to go on suede are a giraffe painting and a portrait of Alborozo. (Though I imagine I can’t legally call it his portrait. It will just have to be “inspired” by Big Al.)

Cross Breeding
This painting kinda looks like the love child between my Natural Grace oil pastel painting and my portrait of Catch done in water color pencil. Which is all good because both are extremely popular sellers and you got to feed those that feed you. Meaning give the people what they want or shut it if you’re not selling.

Okay, okay . . . I’m getting off my soap box now. (I’m feeling feisty today)

At any rate Natural Grace was all about design, while Catch was all about. . . well . . . Catch. This one however is going to be all about the hair.

My inspiration for this was my recent trip out photographing the Percheron brood mares. With all their lovely, floaty manes blowing in the breeze. My actual reference photo however was from my horse safari trip to Noble Friesians last fall. This was one of their young stallions making tracks away from me when he discovered my camera was not a giant horsey treat.

Sundays are a day of rest.

Since it’s Sunday, I have the whole day to work on it. Which is good because even though it was a few short months ago since my last wc pencil on suede, I seem to have forgotten how to work it and needed a little time for a refresher.

I am wearing the same horse slobber stained sweatshirt as last Sunday (It happens to be my favorite) I did however put on makeup and jeans after last Sundays humiliation. I can’t put my DO NOT DISTURB sign out because Mike is working on the front of the gallery and thus takes away all power from the sign. We shall see what comes of it.

Note: I haven’t quite figured out where I’m going to crop. The board I’m working on is 21×32. The painting however will be much closer to 20 x 20

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Group Therapy
Last week a friend came by and swept me away from the gallery to have some quality horse time with a herd of Percheron brood mares. Since my Percheron raising neighbor moved away several years ago I have been going through withdrawals. (umm . . . just so you know, those are birds on the ground, not poo.)

My friend is an animal person and has rekindled her love of horses. She is new in town. (And by “new” I mean that she’s been here only 3 years. For small towns it’s kinda like dog years but in reverse. After you’ve been here seven years you are no longer considered “new.”)

At any rate she is struggling with this feeling like home. She is a single mother who works nights and being awake only a couple of hours in the middle of the afternoon (before she leaves again for work) makes it hard to socialize and have a little fun.

But she has found her bliss standing among the giants, scritching their itches and talking in soft horsey whispers. She is happiest (as am I) when covered in horse dust and slobber. As she’s rubbing a favorite young filly she declares “This is the best. This is better than men. This is better than sex.” Since I am married I don’t comment on that, but I so understand the feeling.

I don’t remember who said this but it seems appropriate. “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” In this case “man” is viewed in the broader sense.

If you squint they kinda look like Friesians
Not that they aren’t totally gorgeous in all their Percheron glory. I am pretty sure I’ve got a painting from the few new rolls I took. I love all the drapey hair and expressive eyes.

Just so you know I wasn’t deliberately trying to crop out their noses in my photos. They were just too close. (Happy Sigh)

One of my favorite horse quotes as well as a personal sentiment.
When I can’t ride anymore, I shall keep horses as long as I can hobble along with a bucket and a wheelbarrow.

When I can’t hobble, I shall roll my wheelchair out by the fence of the field where my horses graze and watch them. -Monica Dickens

Tomorrow’s Post: Ask The Budda

Updated: Carol Eilers (editor of Apples N’ Oats magazine) tipped me to the fact that it was Winston Churchill who said my unknown quote. I should have just asked her, since she is wise on all things horse. Or had I been a responsible blogger I could have googled it. Thanks Carol!

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The latest issue of Apples ‘n Oats is out in all it’s glossy horse magazine goodness. In this issue, I write about Chicory and the creation of the new Soul painting.

Oddly enough, a good part of my story came from blog posts. I’ve included an excerpt from my article. (pretty much the only part that hasn’t already been in a blog post.)

If you want to read the whole thing you’ll have to run out and pick up a copy or better still, visit the website and subscribe. (or wait and eventually it will get posted to my website.)

Knee Deep and Belly High
At the moment Chicory is a deeply contented horse. With the unusually high amount of rainfall we’ve had this spring and summer, his pasture is quite literally belly high. It was also freshly seeded last fall so the grasses are particularly tall and lush.

Chicory spends his days ambling about, nibbling the seed heads off the tops of the grasses, and thoroughly enjoying this new little delicacy.

I take great pleasure in watching him so deeply absorbed in his snacking. If he sees me watching he will pause, bob his head slightly and nicker. He then waits to see if I am planning on bringing him in for something. When he sees that I am not, he continues on. Nibble, chew, step. Nibble, chew, step.

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