Horse Paintings Blog - Summer 2012
Congratulations to the two winning paintings in the Beautiful Horses of New York contest! They are Secret's Rising Eagle (Hawk) and A Little Bit of Smoke! Both will be featured in Cafe Press Shops soon!
Secret's Rising Eagle (Hawk)
A Little Bit of Smoke
Wow, June was filled with paintings, traveling and horses! And I must add, photos! You can see some of the pics in my July newsletter!!
This is my newest painting! It features Pat Parelli's Lusitano stallion, Santana.
Read all about the painting and a neat offer in my current, special Parelli edition newsletter!!
Hi Blog fans! Below you'll find three new paintings. Wondering why so many in one day???? Well, it's almost time for my annual contest to VOTE for your favorite painting in the series, and I'm giving my blog readers a chance to vote early! (But not often) :-)
There are again over 50 paintings in the Beautiful Horses of New York series from which to choose! Here's a link to the Voting Page.
May the best painting win!
Denali and Stiletto love to run!
When I visited, Trish haltered both her horses and we walked across a railroad track to a HUGE pasture where she released Denali and Stiletto. My first thought was, "How are you ever going to catch them to take them back to the barn??" (I would guess this pasture was at least 20 acres of green lush grass.)
Trish was not concerned. (And when it came time to head back, the horses came right up to her to get their halters back on. I was impressed!)
After being released into the pasture Denali and Stiletto started playing! They were having so much fun, kicking and rearing and then running from one end of the pasture to the other! My telephoto lens was not nearly strong enough to get too many good shots when they were at the far ends of the pasture. But luckily, part of their game involved running past our location in the center of the long field! So I could get lots of photos of them approaching and flying by! It was such a fun photo shoot! Of course having beautiful horses as the subjects made it even more delightful!
Trish has had Denali, a Hanoverian, since he was 6 months old. He's 10 now. Stilleto, an Oldenburg, was entrusted to Trish by a trainer and breeder in California with hopes that the pair will go places. Trish calls both Denali and Stiletto to be "my children."
Hailee nominated Oscar, her best friend, for the Beautiful Horses of New York project, and while we were there, she told us about his sister, Patience. Patience and Oscar are full brother and sister. The Dutch Warmbloods' sire is the dressage super star Idocus. The two look so alike, with Patience being a feminine version of the beautiful Oscar!
"Here's what Hailee wrote about Oscar: [Oscar] was the first horse I remember watching being born at our farm. Oscar has grown up in NY, enjoying the pastures of upstate and competing throughout downstate. Sounds wonderful right? Oscar has had a very difficult time making it this far in his life. When he was three he colicked very badly; we brought him to New England Equine and he had to undergo colic surgery for an impaction. Two years after that Oscar came to high school with me at the New York Military Academy. After high school Oscar journeyed on to college with me. In February of my first year he colicked very badly again and had to be rushed to B.W. Furlongs. After getting sick later that spring we decided it would be best for him to undergo an elective surgery. This elective surgery was supposed to fix the problem that he had been having with his colon. However he got sick again last February. Every time he has to go to the hospital I worry that I will lose my best friend. As I get ready to graduate and Oscar will be turning 10, I hope that we enter a new healthy and happy chapter in our lives as New Yorkers. I can’t imagine losing Oscar, for he knows how I feel and always knows how to make my day."
Lacy is a Paint mare that belongs to Penny. Together the two like to trail ride and participate in parades. With Lacy's calm demeanor, she the perfect horse for both activities!
Cowgirl is a Barrel Racer. She is part of a dynamic team of Sorrel Quarter Horses, whose owners Kerry and Brenda unequivocally told me, "Sorrel Quarter Horses are the BEST barrel racing horses on the planet." When I visited, Cowgirl posed perfect for photos. Then she raced around the arena, giving me a taste of her athletic ability. Her three sorrel buddies watched from a nearby pasture. Then Kerry and Brenda offered to get all four horses running in the arena! What fun!
(You'll have to take my word for it that the soil in that part of New York is purple.)
Ahhh, Rusty Van Gogh. Of course I would be curious about a horse that is obviously from the art loving Van Gogh family! Plus he has such an interesting story! Laurie, who purchased Rusty for her daughter Jennifer, explains all . . .
"Rusty's previous owner rescued him from starvation and abuse, with plans to train and sell him. He was so talented she kept him as her 4H horse, and sadly put him up for sale when college time came.
"I bought him for my daughters in 2003. It took awhile to earn his trust, his abusive past makes him suspicious of strangers, and he will not tolerate people running or being rowdy in his vacinity.He tolerated my oldest daughter Sarah, but the youngest, Jennie, and he "clicked", and a partnership began.
"The Van Gogh portion of his name is because he only has 1/2 a left ear, the rest was bitten off by his mother we were told.
"With personality plus, this little guy has done it all, well. Over the years he has taken Jennie from walk/trot, english, western, and games through jumpers and hunters. If she's not paying attention, Rusty will happily put her on the ground in a second, which he has done numerous times over the years. He has an assortment of dirty tricks, but he has made Jennie into a talented rider.
"Olympian Greg Best called him the 'Susan Boyle of the horse world' and 'he's a 17 hand trapped in a pony body,' and he has always been Greg's favorite in the clinics Jennie has ridden in. We have had many offers to purchase him, but he will be with us forever. This little guy has more heart, attitude, and guts than anything out there."
When life gets stressful, it sure is nice to have a horse to hug. Ally has provided her owner Pam with the gift of quiet presence. Pam wrote, "My mom now has stage 2 breast cancer. After I spend the day with my mom and her chemotherapy treatments, I head to the barn to see Allie. Whether it's to ride or just to spend time with her. . . . I can be stressed or sad and I go to see Allie and her knickers and whinnies cheer me up. She can seem to sense when I need a little horsey attention. Allie may not be an A circuit $50,000 horse, but the shear joy she gives me is priceless and it is what makes her beautiful to me."
Two of Ally's traits that Pam listed were her intelligence and her love for people. I tried to capture those traits in Ally's painting.
Dunscore Final Flight is a beautiful, dark liver chestnut Morgan gelding. His owner, Deb, has has spent the past 17 years learning everything "horsey" from Dunscore, who was just 5 months old when he entered her life. Deb lists the lessons Dunscore has taught: "How to pick feet, lounge, bathe, clip, load, trailer, worm, give eye drops, long line, drive, trail ride, etc."
As a Morgan fan, I loved watching Dunscore as he roamed his huge Jerusalem Hill pasture. As "King of the Hill" he majestically dominated the beautiful landscape--cantering and trotting proudly in a way that Morgans do with such style!
Even so, I really loved the sunlight gleaming off his shiny coat as he stepped out of his cool barn. I think he's "King of the Barn" too.
Kristen, Squirt's owner, lovingly wrote, "Squirt is a lovely gelding and is beautiful inside and out. He is one of the most fun horses I have ever known. He is gorgeous and really a great representative of his [American Paint Horse] breed. His beautiful soul has helped me to love horses and riding after a terrible accident I was in with my old horse. I have some short comings with riding as I have had three hip surgeries and am only 21. Squirt is always more than willing to take his time and honestly seems like he understands."
Kristen has recently begun competing with Squirt in barrel racing! Maybe you'll see them together at an upcoming event!
Heavenly colors — amethyst, sapphire, and ruby — fill my painting of Gus, a grulla mustang who is part of the Beautiful Horses of New series. Why are these colors “heavenly”? I was influenced by a book I read recently —"Heaven is for Real." In the book a young boy describes his visit to heaven, stating: 1) Jesus had a horse in heaven (yes that was my favorite part), and 2) heaven was filled with rainbow colors!
The book refers to Revelations where heaven's wall is described as having 12 layers— each with a different type of gem. I didn't recognize many of the gems' names, so I Googled them all. They are beautiful! I wanted to see them all together, so I made a board with them on
Gus was the perfect horse for my first painting with heavenly colors. His grulla coat is a mixture of blues and purples complimented by his dark mane and face. Mustangs come in amazing color! Gus’ owner, Sharon, found him on the internet and traveled 22 hours from New York to Iowa to get him. She’s very glad she made that trip! Gus is a wonderful horse for Sharon and her daughter to ride, show and jump!
Are you interested in adopting a Wild Mustang? Here's some news!
The Bureau of Land Management will host a
Here’s a link: Springfield
Find an event near you: Schedule
I know this is not a "horse painting! Hey, my other favorite subject - flowers - IS related to horses! The thousands of daylily seedlings I've hybridized and am now growing in my backyard thrive thanks to my horses! Having four horses continually contributing to my compost pile is priceless. If you horse owners are looking for a way to use your "black gold" in a neat way -- start growing daylilies. Growing them is so fun! But, beware, hybridizing is addicting.
The daylily in this painting is Neon Flamingo, hybridized by Jamie Gossard. I saw it on a garden tour, and actually have purchased seeds with Neon Flamingo as one of the parents. I love the bright pink color and the fact that the flower is 8 1/2" in diameter. It's even bigger in my painting (20x30"). If you want to see dayliles like you would never imagine, check out Jamie's website.
All Grit is a mahogany Thoroughbred with a lush mane and tail. His owner Lia wrote that he "loves performing and showing off" and he did enjoy being photographed! Here he's showing off not just from me, but also for the horses in the next door pasture -- although they seem content to be grazing instead of running.
Lisa's Thoroughbred geldings, Apollo and Lorenzo, are very special horses. Lisa wrote:
"When I look back, I had a pretty great childhood growing up. I had my own pony, I went to a good school, got good grades, went to college and then went to grad school. I graduated from grad school and got my first 'real' job at 24.
Describing Lorenzo, her chestnut Thoroughbred, Lisa wrote:
"In 2006 I found out about a big horse that had been injured at the racetrack and was headed for an uncertain destiny. Lorenzo had won over $75,000 but became disposable to his owners after being injured while racing. My best friend Joanne and I went to meet him. At 17.1 hands, Lorenzo was very intimidating to Joanne who had very little horse experience. She talked me into buying him even though I knew he would never be used for anything but maybe light riding.
"A year ago Apollo developed a condition that made him unrideable. I often hear people say 'why don't you just get rid of that horse if you can't ride him?' What these people don't understand is that Apollo was there for me through the toughest times in my life and therefore I will be there for him during his tough times."
Lisa pointed out that dark bay Apollo, has a white "fat cat" blaze. Can you see the big fat cat sitting with his back to you? The cat ears and the big tail?
Ruby Sue is a Paint mare whose registered name is Specialty Zip. Just 13, she was rescued from a meat buyer at a horse auction, and has become a star performer for her young nine-year-old owner, Emily! The two have been Champions or Reserve Champions in every show since they teamed up two years ago!
Emily and Ruby Sue
Raffael, a beautiful black Arab/Saddlebred gelding, found his home with Lorraine by chance and destiny. Here's Lorraine and Raffael's story:
"... a friend felt I needed a third horse, my sweet aged Arab mare and her little stable mate a small gray gelding are getting up in age. She told me of a young, white Arab needing a home. Turns out the rescue place had a similar name to another rescue so when I called the number I got from phone information, the lady said no young Arabs here but we have an adorable black Arab/Saddlebred cross for adoption.
"When we went to meet Raffael, we were told of his horrific existence while still within his Dams womb, then shown the article of the seizure. In the next field was a bedraggled but still stunning black Arab mare obviously in foal. When I asked the owner if she was for sale, he said no, she was just getting thru the rough winter, she'd be fine. We offered him a grand and a promise of a good home to no avail. We left feeling sick. Next thing I know here I am looking to adopt this lucky-to-be-alive little guy and his Dam -- totally healthy under the care of these people!
"Not only is Raffael the most refined beautiful creature ever to grace my presence, he is of the sweetest nature and smart as he is gorgeous!! Wonderful with my small grandchildren, the farrier loves him, vets too.
"His finest quality is showing now. Our little gelding Zeus was injured two weeks ago, spent a week at a vet. facility, came home to maybe a month of stall rest. Raffael has been a constant companion to him. We dreaded the isolation, Raff has kept Zeus totally content, only leaving Zeus to drink or get his occasional roll in. Instead of taking his position by the feed shack at feeding time he trots up to the barn and waits to be fed next to the stall we added to our turn-out for Zeus!! He looks so majestic poised by his little buddy not knowing for sure why, just being his best bud! He is a true creature of Beauty inside & out!!"
This young Thoroughbred filly is inquisitive and cute! Shocking Truth, as her owner Harmonie wrote, "is beautiful to me because no matter what kind of day I'm having she can always cheer me up. She loves to nuzzle me and gives hugs to show me that everything will be okay."
Shocking Truth is a real sweetie!
Susan nominated her American Quarter Horse, Zips Mystic Knight (barn name Gradee , GB, or Gorgeous Boy) writing, "Gradee has earned his very affectionate nicknames of 'GB' or Gorgeous Boy. He is sweet, smart & takes care of me when I'm on board! In his early days, he had some hard times that affected his self-confidence but now he happily enjoys his monthly Reiki sessions & gives me lots of feedback to better love him more. He knows my whistle and the difference between when I call him Gradee, 'GB' or Gorgeous Boy. His smile & knicker tell all! His sleek, almost black body moves softly when under saddle or in-hand, yet strong & powerfully when turned out."
Gradee was literally gleaming in the aisle of his barn when I arrived to take his photo. Susan and two members of his fan club were busily brushing, combing, spraying, banding (his mane) and just beautifying him til he sparkled! He looked GORGEOUS!
And once we went out in the sunlight, Gradee glistened! I wanted to capture all the colors reflected in his coat, so in his painting he is a rainbow of dark colors.
Speaking of sparkling, Susan summed up her nomination with: "Gradee's light shines from within which is what makes him truly a Gorgeous Boy to all who behold him."
Wild Mustangs are so symbolic of the American West. Getting to attend a wild horse roundup last summer was a dream come true. It was so exciting to see the horses roaming the desert of Wyoming. But it is equally thrilling for me to get to visit Mustangs who have been adopted and now live in more “stable” homes. It’s enlightening to see how well they adapt to being pampered! One such Mustang, who is now and Easterner, is Soldier. His owner Hailee
“Soldier is an American born and bred wild mustang! We had the pleasure of adopting him when he was 3 through a BLM online auction. He was born in a herd that roamed the plains of Nevada and then was trained by inmates in Colorado before taking the long road cross country to join us. Today we doubt that Soldier ever lived in the wild as he sticks his head out of his half gate nuzzling everyone who walks past him for treats. Soldier enjoys everything about lining in NY in a stall and working in a ring. A fancy little mustang, Soldier has won
“Soldier is a wonderful pony and a blast to have in the barn. He is the ultimate sweetheart who can warm any girl’s heart. He is always good for a hug and a leisurely stroll in the woods.”
It’s a pleasure to include Soldier in the Beautiful Horses of New York series.
Karen Brenner is a professional equine artist who is passionate
in the Lives of Horses
Paintings and Photographs
by Karen Brenner
Coffee Table Book
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